Think they’re going to send them all to the breakers, or will they try and hold on to some of them?
It seems Vale is pushing shipowners to retire conversions and invest to new VLOCs.
More trouble for Polaris:
En expedition to find the VDR is in the planning:
I wonder what they hope to gain from digging out the VDR as the hull seemed to have buckled and torn with an explosive force. None of the sensors can detect that. Bridge conversation and the data recorded from the sensors were brutally cut off after only one or two minutes, maybe less. It would help if there were sensors to measure the moisture content of the iron core to monitor possible liquefaction of the cargo. I don’t think so otherwise an alarm had sounded long before.
Other possible causes of the vessel sinking, such as its age, loading stress, or uneven loading that can have structural effects on vessels which can cause damage to the frames and cause a hull failure. On the Stellar Queen and other Polaris bulk carriers cracks of considerable length, such as 1½ and 2½ meters, were found. Hull failure is therefore a probable cause.
Some blame it on the conversion from tanker to bulk carrier who has to endure much more hull stresses, not only when loading/unloading, but also at sea especially under uneven loading conditions. They just were not designed and built for that brutal trade.
The conversion of a crude oil carrier into a ship designed to carry iron ore at the same draught is a very big operation indeed. Tankers are longitudinally framed, unlike bulkers, which are laterally configured. They have enormous longitudinal strength, but the cutting of huge holes in the weather deck for hatches will require substantial compensation.
However, I understand and respect that they must try to get to the bottom of this bizarre incident to finalize the investigation.
Interesting overview of the phenomenon:
Intercargo complain about slow investigation by Marshall Island Register: