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North P&I Club renews loss-prevention campaign on liquefaction risks

North protects and promotes the interests of the international shipping industry The loss-prevention department of the 'A' rated 150 million GT North P&I club has marked the start of 2012 with a renewed campaign to warn shipowners of the potentially lethal dangers of cargo liquefaction. The club's latest issue of its loss-prevention newsletter Signals is accompanied by a new safety poster and information sheet on the topic.'The loss of the bulk carrier Vinalines Queen on Christmas day and three bulk carriers a year earlier, with consequent loss of seafarers' lives, is a stark reminder of the catastrophic consequences that can arise from loading liquefiable cargoes,' says North's head of loss prevention Tony Baker.'In reality there are very few ships that can safely carry a bulk cargo that can change from a solid to a liquid state. Until our knowledge of the behaviour of liquefied cargo and its impact on ship stability improves, shipowners and masters must take all proper precautions when presented with such a cargo for carriage.'The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which became mandatory a year ago, identifies the steps that should be taken when carrying cargoes that can liquefy.North has previously published comprehensive guidance and ...

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Vinalines Queen – 22 More Deaths Owing to Cargo Liquefaction?

Industry Must Unite to Stop This Unnecessary Loss of Life The recent tragic loss of the 2005-built supramax bulk carrier Vinalines Queen and 22 of its crew again underlines the urgent need for greater enforcement of regulations and testing of cargoes that may liquefy.The ship, which was reportedly carrying a cargo of nickel ore from Morowali, Indonesia to China, was reported missing on 25 December, considered lost. Back in December 2010 following the loss of 3 bulk carriers and 44 crew in short succession, all owing to cargo liquefaction, Intercargo took the opportunity to remind the industry of the dangers associated with the carriage of hazardous cargoes - however the loss of the Vinalines Queen demonstrates that the message still isn't getting through.Speaking of the loss, Secretary General of Intercargo, Rob Lomas said "we've previously called on shippers and cargo interests to conduct an urgent review into the testing and safety processes involved in shipping of hazardous cargoes, following the spate of accidents and fatalities in 2010, but clearly more needs to be urgently done to stop this appalling unnecessary loss of life"."Sadly, it seems that some shipowners still do not have the relevant experience or knowledge in interpreting the ...

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Danger of liquefaction when iron ore fines are carried in bulk

MPA Singapore issues circular 22/2011 The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular cautioning ship owners and masters concerning the danger of liquefaction when iron ore fines are carried in bulk as follows:This circular informs the Shipping Community of the IMO circularDSC.1/Circ.66 , issued to bring to their attention the danger of liquefactionwhen iron ore fines is carried in bulk.Iron ore fines is currently not specifically listed in the IMSBC Code.A correspondence group has been established by the DSC sub-committee todevelop specific schedules for iron ore fines for inclusion in the IMSBC Code,with particular focus on the phenomenon of liquefaction in some types of iron ore fines.For more information, click hereSource: MPA Singapore

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Greeks turn out in force for North P&I Club’s seminar on cargo liquefaction

Cargo liquefaction continues to be a serious physical and economic hazard for shipping Around 120 members of the Greek shipping community attended a seminar on cargo liquefaction hosted by the Piraeus office of the 150 million GT 'A' rated North P&I club.According to associate director and head of the Greek office, Tony Allen, 'Cargo liquefaction continues to be a serious physical and economic hazard for shipping worldwide and the high turnout last night shows it remains a particular concern for our Greek owners and operators'.The event at the Piraeus Marine Club focused on the safety, regulatory and practical issues which arise when shipping cargoes prone to liquefy together with the legal and commercial aspects facing masters when suspect cargoes are presented for loading.Allen told delegates, 'North recognises and continues to support the ongoing efforts of its members to ensure the safety of their vessels and crews when shipping cargoes likely to liquefy. We will continue in conjunction with the International Group of P&I Clubs and other industry bodies such as Intercargo and BIMCO to promote prudent and safe practice.'He confirmed North is fully committed to supporting the International Group's initiatives to put pressure on local shippers and authorities in countries ...

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Liquefaction dangers are emphasised

The liquefaction of some bulk cargoes on passage is an old problem The liquefaction of some bulk cargoes on passage is an old problem that has regrettably not gone away. The loss of three modern ships, with heavy loss of life in 2010, was a brutal reminder of this. All were carrying Indonesian nickel ore; cargo, which by its very nature and the fact that it is mined in an area of excessively high rainfall, is recognised as hazardous and highly prone to hygroscopic effects.It would be easy to suggest that it was inadequate testing to determine the water content that was the problem, or that prudent operators should reject such charters out of hand. But the fact is that these cargoes are of increasing value, so that the demand for them by steelmakers is high and growing.It is also a fact that there is a distinct lack of expert advice available in many of these areas, and a notable shortage of science in the determination of water content. There is also often a great deal of commercial pressure on shipmasters to accept the assurances given by the cargo owner, anxious only to get the cargo loaded and the ship ...

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