Loss prevention advice by the Swedish P&I Club
The Swedish P&I Club has recently published issue 3 of its Loss prevention publication ‘Triton’ including recommendations and legal advice for cargo damage caused by heating of bunker fuel in bunker tans adjacent to cargo holds.
The Club notes that the vessel type most at risk is the bulk carrier. It is important to know that in specific conditions cargo can suffer heat damage at temperatures as low as 40- 50C.
Furthermore, cargo loaded in the most aft cargo hold might be exposed to excessive heat if service and settlings tanks are adjacent to the cargo hold, as these tanks will reach temperatures of around 90C. If sensitive cargo is loaded in the aft cargo hold the crew must plan so that the cargo doesn’t suffer heat damage.
Examples of cargo damage caused by heating bunker fuel
A bulk carrier loaded wheat
During discharge it was found that some of the cargo was damaged in cargo hold 2 and 3. The cargo receiver claimed that the cargo was heat damaged. The top layer of the cargo was in proper condition in both cargo holds. During the voyage heavy fuel oil tanks had been heated. Some of the cargo by the aft bulkhead of cargo hold 2 was discoloured and there was also a burnt smell. Behind this bulkhead Claims caused by heating of bunker fuel were heavy fuel oil tanks. In cargo hold 3 there was some damaged cargo in the aft part. The settling tanks were adjacent to the cargo hold bulkhead. There was no cofferdam between the service/ settling tanks and cargo hold. These tanks were heated to in excess of 80C.
A bulk carrier loaded wheat
At time of discharge the top layer of the cargo was in good condition. However cargo at the aft bulkhead adjacent to the engine room was damaged. The damaged cargo was dry and caked. It could not be established what the exact temperature of the bunker fuel had been.
A bulk carrier loaded sunflower seed meal
During discharge burnt cargo was found at the aft bulkhead adjacent to the engine room. Subsequently, heavy fuel oil tanks in the engine room were in direct contact with the aft bulkhead. The surveyor couldn’t find records of what temperatures the heavy fuel oil had been heated to.
A bulk carrier loaded soybean meal
The loading had been interrupted several times because of rain. When loading was complete the cargo was fumigated. During the voyage the vessel experienced some heavy weather. At discharge mouldy cargo was found on the top layer. Furthermore, some heatdamaged cargo was found at the aft cargo hold bulkhead adjacent to a heavy fuel oil tank. During the voyage this tank was heated to 60C.
The Swedish P&I Club recommends the following preventing measures:
The crew should keep detailed records onboard of:
Further details may be found by reading Triton publication
You may find previous issue of ‘Triton’ loss prevention publication by vising Swedish P&I Club website
Source: The Swedish P&I Club