CARGO LIQUEFACTION – AN INTRODUCTION
Since late 2009 dry bulk shipping has been plagued by the coincidence of a substantial downturn in earnings and the prevalence of cargoes being offered by charterers which are ultimately found to be unsafe for carriage, due to their propensity to liquefy. The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code became mandatory in January 2011.
Since late 2009 dry bulk shipping has been plagued by the coincidence of a substantial downturn in earnings and the prevalence of cargoes being offered by charterers which are ultimately found to be unsafe for carriage, due to their propensity to liquefy. 2009 brought the loss of ASIAN FOREST and BLACK ROSE, both of which capsized and sank following liquefaction of iron ore fines which had been loaded at Indian ports. In response the Club put in place a temporary precautionary survey programme to assist Members and their masters to ensure that iron ore fines cargoes shipped out of India were safe for carriage.
In January 2011 the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code, setting out the internationally agreed provisions for the safe stowage and shipment of solid bulk cargoes became mandatorily applicable. The Code sets out the obligations of the shippers of a solid bulk cargo and provides ship owners with a clear framework and methodology for determining whether solid bulk cargoes, likely to liquefy, are safe to carry in terms of their moisture content and transportable moisture limit at the time of shipment.
The International Group of P&I Clubs has collectively monitored the application of the Code and has highlighted the dangers inherent in the carriage of nickel ore cargoes from Indonesia and the Philippines and also worked together with industry in order to ensure that the subsequent amendments to the Code were based upon sound scientific research and were not detrimental to the interest of ship owners. Warnings have also been necessary in order to alert ship owners to the dangers of the liquefaction of bauxite cargoes.
The recent publications produced by the Club on this subject can be reviewed through use of the ‘Cargo Liquefaction’ document tag provided on the Bulletins and Circulars website pages. For further information and guidance on these requirements, Members may contact the Club.
See attached BIMCO document for general advice on the IMSBC Code.