28 July 2015
Dennis de Bruin, Marine Director at BMT describes what a surveyor can do to turn an apparent total loss of high quality fuel into the acceptance of a sound product.
Shipping is a global business and the obstacles and challenges faced are often demanding. Hence knowledge, experience and personal contacts are essential to resolve problems. These challenges can be due to geography, e.g. the remoteness of places, the complexity of cargo, local politics and lack of equipment or, misunderstandings that arise from different languages, jurisdictions and cultures. Last year, BMT's tanker department was requested by an oil trader to assist with an apparent insurmountable problem involving a ‘high spec’ oil product cargo that was significantly contaminated. At the time of the instruction, the parties involved in the shipment had considered a possible total loss of the cargo. BMT was requested to investigate whether there were others solutions than declaring a total loss.
The cargo in question was a high quality fuel, which had already been loaded on a tanker. The cargo was worth approximately $3.0 million USD. The ship had been chartered, to load at a West African port and to be discharged at another West African port. After loading had been completed, the master was advised that the analysis of the cargo showed high amounts of a metallic type contaminant, resulting in the cargo being considered ‘off spec’. Following this discovery, the receivers refused to accept the cargo and the ship remained at the load port whilst all parties debated how to resolve the situation. BMT was contacted to assist.
A plan was devised using a modified filtration unit to fit in-line at the ship’s discharge manifold in order to remove the contaminants. The unit, with a technician, was dispatched to the load port and, once on board, a “test quantity” of cargo was recirculated through the filtration unit with the receiver’s representatives attending.
A sample of the recirculated cargo was analysed and found to be within specification. After lengthy discussions, the receivers agreed that the filtration unit could be used at the discharge port. Subject to successful cargo sample analysis, the cargo would be accepted by the receivers. The technician and the filtration unit sailed with the ship to the port where the ship discharged the contaminated cargo through the filtration unit, thus removing all the contaminants. After final sampling and testing, the receivers eventually accepted the cargo without any further claim. Quite interestingly, so successful was the filtration unit that the terminal bought one for permanent availability.
Olivier van der Kruijs
Olivier van der Kruijs describes new processes that will lead to ship condition surveys being conducted more efficiently.
Jeroen de Haas
The magnitude of insurance claims within the shipping industry is striking. The complexities involved place increasing pressure on surveyors to employ more sophisticated techniques determine the reasons behind an incident and ascertain liability.
Peer van Oosterhout
BMT's Peer van Oosterhout discusses some of the challenges on-board crew may face when changing from one fuel to another and provides guidelines to reduce the risks of possible engine and fuel-equipment damage.
Working at sea can be tough. Many of us will have had the opportunity to experience the cold, the wet, the heat, the constant motions, the cramped spaces and the isolation from home life.