Assessing tanker tow risks in Nigeria

Maritime, Oil & gas

With limited engine power and dubious levels of reliability, moving a tanker across Nigeria needed a careful assessment of the risks

The ABC Maritime tanker San Padre Pio had been at anchor on the Bonnie River in Nigeria for more than four years.

With limited engine power and dubious levels of reliability, Marex was asked to assist with the towage of the tanker.

The story of ABC Maritime

Founded in 1982, ABC Maritime is a Swiss-based family-owned group of companies.

The group has grown to become one of the world’s leading providers of floating accommodation barges in West Africa. Major names in the world of oil, offshore and finance consider ABC Maritime a valued partner.

ABC Maritime AG commercially and technically manages a fleet of vessels that includes asphalt and chemical tankers, offshore support vessels and bulkers.


The challenge

The San Padre Pio had been anchored in the Bonnie River for more than four years, so had limited engine power and reliability.  

ABC Maritime needed to move the vessel from the Bonnie River to a dry dock in Abidjan for repairs. They asked Marex to assist with the assessment, planning and execution of a possible tow, using marine warranty rules and processes.

Why ABC Maritime chose Marex

ABC Maritime has a long history of working successfully with Marex to conduct vessel DP annual trials and vessel inspections such as OVIQ and CMIDs.

We have always strived to offer a fast, efficient and pragmatic service and provide practical solutions to difficult problems at short notice.

How Marex responded

We responded to the ABC request in a quick and effective manner. We arranged for the San Padre Pio to be surveyed by our local surveyors in the region, and conducted a bollard pull analysis to determine the minimum power we would need to tow the vessel safely.

The results of the bollard pull analysis, combined with the results of the vessel survey and a review of the structural strength and integrity of the vessel, allowed us to complete a towing report on the vessels.

This detailed the viability of towing the vessel, the bollard pull requirements for towing vessels, and towing equipment required in compliance with marine warranty rules.

Subsequently Marex provided a surveyor to conduct suitability surveys of a number of towing vessels selected by ABC Maritime.

The results

In summary, we gave a solution for moving the vessel to Abidjan for dry dock after first discharging the remains of her cargo on route.

The San Padre Pio arrived in dry dock in Abidjan successfully and safely, and repairs were conducted as well as overhauls to her main engine before she resuming trading.

Gian-Marco Kern, senior marine superintendent at ABC Maritime, said: "This was a challenging and complex project with a lot of unknown factors but Marex’s focus on the task in hand brought clarity. The unknown factors became fewer, making my decisions much easier to take.

"Marex was recommended to us for its expertise and understanding in marine matters and we have not been disappointed. I find the team easy to deal with, while being rigorous and responsive with a proactive approach to problem-solving.

"Their experience and knowledge have been a key support to ABC Maritime and we look forward to continuing to work with them in future.”

  • If you have a marine operational problem that needs a fast and pragmatic solution, don’t hesitate to contact Marex.
Neil Smeaton

Wayne Henderson Managing director

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