The PNSC newly acquired tanker named Bolan ran into an accident near Malaysia during berthing operation. As vessel is in damaged condition, after off loading cargo vessel charterer has put the vessel on off hire till repairs are done and damage is made good. Due to inept office management, PNSC is losing money with every off hire hour and vessel is incurring costs by wasting bunker and other heads due to lack of decision making and approval by higher management and chairman.
Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Minister Ali Zaidi remain ignorant of the loss of precious foreign exchange, while the repair team was not yet arranged to board the vessel.
According to informed sources the vessel was chartered for 14,000 USD per day. Due to office negligence, lack of action and careless, slow clerical process by the PNSC staff working in Maintenance and Repair Deptt. Sunday was 4th off hire day and still counting. This means PNSC and Govt had already lost 56,000 USD in charter hire and the vessel is incurring additional cost in lieu of bunker fuel, crew wages and other overheads. While the further off hire days were still unknown because the office was still unable to take decisions and approvals from management. The weekend and Muharam holidays were making situation worst as PNSC staff and management seems unwilling to work over holidays.
According to analysts in Malaysia and Singapore the damage to Tanker Bolan was minor, a hole in ship’s steering flat through side shell at transom plate and deck plate corner intersection. But the management negligence was turning this into a big loss to national exchequer. According to maritime traffic Bolan is anchored at OPL Malaysia waiting for orders of repairs with unknown time limit. It’s Singapore Eastern side just at the start of South China Sea.
It is pertinent to mention that Executive Director Ship Management Tariq Majeed was given extension in contract after superannuation age of 60 year against prescribed Govt. policy and various court decisions. Tariq Majeed is a close friend of Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi.
The sources disclosed that repair of Tanker Bolan and negligence by Tariq Majeed and his GM Rao Hamid Mushtaq is a hot topic within PNSC. Why they didn’t decide in many days after incident? The accident was occurred on 31st August while the ship was off hired on 5th September morning after she discharged her cargo. They didn’t decide in 5 days. One of obvious reasons could be non availability of Chairman PNSC for approval of cost. Secretary MoMA Rizwan Ahmed is having additional charge of Chairman PNSC and seldom available in Karachi for such approvals. His second extension of 45 days for additional charge has already been expired on 24th August 2019.
The reasons for Tanker Bolan collision and damage could be explained as excessive current, pilot delays, port control wrong instructions, wrong anchored vessel and master Bolan incompetence or negligence.
Bolan was berthing Pengerang terminal at Johar while accident occurred and master insisted for berthing for loading cargo after Classification Society clearance. Afterwards tanker Bolan headed for discharging port and PNSC kept earning money till vessel was put off hire by her charterers. On 5th Sept tanker Bolan completed bunkering in Singapore and then off hired. After marine incidents, it is a normal scenario as time gained is utilised by owners to arrange for repairs but the delays from PNSC management & staff is beyond understanding.
The sources at PNSC Head Office said that accident was held on 31st August but the Tanker continued loading on 2nd Sept. at Pengerang Johar, and discharging on 3rd 4th Sept. at Tanjung Pelepas, got bunker on 4th 5th Sept. from Singapore and then off hired.
According to maritime analysts; from 31st August till 5th September the Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) and the PNSC office did not decide to get the damage repaired and still the delay was going on. However, on office instructions, gas freeing of tanks was completed, incurred additional cost that was not required at all for such kind of repairs. Hence, 30 tons of fuel approx was lost in gas freeing. The loss could be assessed from the fact that tanker Bolan consumes 8 tons of fuel in a day at anchor in addition of 14,000 USD per day off hire, crew wages and other over heads.