London P&I Club Warns on Unsafe Sierra Leone Iron Ore Cargoes

Press Release
Friday, October 26, 2012

The London P&I Club has warned that ships are being offered iron ore cargoes for loading in Sierra Leone which are unsafe, and that limited local expertise and technology, together with poor communications, are exacerbating the problems.



In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club notes that, following the end of the country’s ten-year-long civil war, two shippers have resumed exports of iron ore from Sierra Leone. Some of these cargoes are Group A (capable of liquefying) under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.



The club recounts a number of recent cases in which independent consultant Brookes Bell, acting on behalf of London Club members, has confirmed that ships can be offered cargo which is unsafe because their actual moisture content exceeds their transportable moisture limit (TML). The IMSBC Code requires representative samples of Group A cargoes to be properly analyzed so that appropriate information/certification on TML and actual moisture content is available to the master prior to loading. But Brookes Bell has learned that, while there are local laboratories which can measure the moisture content, there is no facility in Sierra Leone with the equipment necessary to establish the TML of a sample.



According to Brookes Bell, “One attempt at confirming compliance with the IMSBC Code involved a surveyor sampling the cargo for the first time during transhipment at anchor and then seeking to establish the moisture content by drying out the samples in an oven in the ship’s galley. The resultant uncertainty over the characteristics of the cargo and whether it was safe to load led to very extensive delays during loading.



“At a simple level, where owners/charterers have felt compelled to verify the condition of apparently wet cargo offered for shipment, there are significant logistical problems in accessing the stockpiles either at the mines or at river terminals. The long and difficult journeys can involve both road and river transport and, because of the lack of on-site accommodation, these journeys may need to be repeated frequently.”



Both Sierra Leone shippers are now aware of their obligations under the IMSBC Code and appear to be trying to avoid offering wet cargo and/or inadequate certification. However, the London Club says it expects some difficulties to persist, particularly as both shippers plan to increase their export volumes. Owners and charterers considering fixing iron ore loadings from Sierra Leone are therefore advised to give early notice to the club, which can help to establish whether proper sampling and testing has been conducted.

 

Maritime Reporter June 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Safety

Buoys in Disputed Waters Roil South China Sea Dispute

Buoys stretched "as far as eye could see" - Philippine sailor. The Philippine navy recently found a large steel marker bearing Chinese inscriptions and hundreds

Tideland Introduced New Navigation Aids at Seawork

Tideland Signal Corporation (Tideland) introduced a number of new innovative aids to navigation (AtoN) products at Seawork 2015, including SB-1800, the newest member

Ocean Safety’s New Liferaft Facility Opens

Ocean Safety, a specialist in the worldwide supply, distribution, service and hire of marine safety equipment, has opened a new liferaft hire division.   Ocean

P&I Clubs

Parkinson Retires from Sunderland Marine

Geoff Parkinson, chief executive officer of North P&I Club’s subsidiary Sunderland Marine, retired on 30 June 2015 following a period of ill health. Tom Rutter,

Philippine Ferry Sinks, 36 Dead

A ferry carrying 189 passengers and crew capsized off the central Philippines in heavy waves on Thursday, killing at least 36 people but the majority of those on board were rescued,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1190 sec (8 req/sec)