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Incident at a Major Petroleum Terminal, France

During one major 2016 project, we were instructed to carry out an onsite inspection and provide technical advice to a London based P&I Club following a substantial FOD incident at a major petroleum terminal, in southern France.

Inspecting Impact Damage

An oil/chemical tanker during berthing manoeuvre had struck a suspended quay and its marine loading arm (MLA) causing considerable damage to both. The damage to the quay resulted in a total constructive loss (TCL) of a low-level mooring dolphin and critical underwater damage to several deck support piles. The concrete deck was also damaged and the MLA suffered impact damage to its outboard arm and was declared a TCL by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). As a result of the incident, several operators using the berth for the transfer of liquid bulk products were subject to business disruption.

Engineering Oversight

LOC’s involvement following on from the initial ‘post-incident’ attendance included providing estimates and oversight of the engineering repairs and assessing the case for repair or replacement of the damaged MLA.

The MLA was a relatively delicate and specialised item of equipment which included articulated swivel joints comprising bearings and seals within the swivel casing. As a result, assessing the internal damage to the swivels was a time consuming and costly procedure, which involved the OEM and other specialist companies. LOC has considerable experience of MLA damage investigations and the London office was, at the time, involved with three such cases.

Technical Advice

LOC also provided technical advice to the Club on the civil engineering repairs to the mooring dolphin, quay deck and supporting piles, and has followed this up with regular updates on the progress and cost of repairs.

LOC managed the individual elements of the claim which are all significant in themselves. The terminal operators carried out works to limit the disruption to their operations by re-routing product lines from the damaged berth to an adjacent berth. LOC was closely involved in reviewing the re-routing works with the operator and assessing the costs involved.

LOC’s detailed knowledge of the stages of repairs and their progress played a major part in the assessment and settlement of the final claim.

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