Chinese coal ship to stay on reef in Australia for a few more days
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said here on Saturday the stricken Chinese coal ship would stay on the grounded reef for a few more days before it is refloated.
Bligh told reporters that the pump of oil from the Chinese carrier Shen Neng 1, starting from Friday, had so far been smoothly. But until it was finished and seaworthy inspections complete, the ship would remain on Douglas Shoal off the Rockhampton coastline. How to repair the ship will wait and see.
The Chinese coal carrier ran aground the shoal last Saturday afternoon and stuck to the reef since then.
"I don't expect to see attempts to refloat the ship for another three or four days," the state premier said, adding "We won't see all the oil off the ship probably until the end of the weekend at the earliest."
"Then there will have to be considerable assessments taken of the vessel, empty of the oil, before any flotation processes can occur," she noted.
Bligh said the ship owner's insurance company was meeting costs of the salvage operation so far.
The state government would pursue the insurance company for expenses incurred in assisting with the salvage operation and also all preventive measures that have been taken to combat any potential oil slick, and the salvage operation was currently being paid for by the insurance company of the owners of this boat, Bligh said.
Meanwhile, Ren Gongping, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane, said on Saturday he has learned from China's Shenzhen Energy Transport Co. Ltd., the owner of the coal carrier, that the insurance company was able to cover all the costs incurred during the salvation operation, including the rescue, the ship repair and the clean-up of the polluted sea, etc. So there was no worries about the payment of the salvation costs.
He also said a working group of the Shenzhen Energy Transport will arrive at Brisbane next week to discuss all the matters concerning the coal ship.