Symbols of integrity

Through the increasing array of notations, optional notations and descriptive notes devised by classification societies, the caliber of a vessel and additional technical measures incorporated by her owner can be more accurately gauged by the wider market.

Although society-specific abbreviations sometimes smack of industry enciphering, a string of letters tells a story and, in a business environment in which quality is ever more the watchword, can denote a level of technical excellence as well as conformity to strict requirements.

The commercial merit of the still evolving system is that it not only reflects accreditation to prescribed standards, but also gives added denote some of the technical attributes of a new type of Suezmax crude oil carrier taking shape in South Korea, under contract to a Swedish company convinced of the intertwining relationship between sound environmental practice and long-term business and asset value prospects.

Stockholm-based N&T Argonaut's two double-hulled, 158,000-dwt tankers due out of the Daewoo yard in July and September 1999, represent an investment of more than $100 million in a highly advanced design type encapsulating added features to enhance service life and provide long-run environmental protection. Besides the more standard labels of compliance with the rules of Det Norske Veritas, the prospective allocation of ICM(BTs) will denote that each vessel has been built with over-dimensioned steel thicknesses in the load-sensitive, upper portions of the hull.

In conferring the CSA-1(25) notation, the society will demonstrate that the overall hull structure has been dimensioned for longer service life, with enhanced fatigue strength and advanced, internal painting systems.

Coatings will afford corrosion protection throughout the ballast tanks and to the tops and bottoms of the cargo spaces.

VCS-2B will indicate that each vessel has been equipped to recycle petroleum gases in a closed system back to suitably-equipped loading terminals during cargo loading operations. In addition, each of the N&T Argonaut vessels will have an OPP-F notation, signifying that the fuel tanks as well as the cargo tanks will be protected by a deep double bottom.

Furthermore, monitoring and protective equipment employed during bunkering will be particularly extensive.

The ESP label, now mandatory for new vessels, will demonstrate that each ship will be subjected to more rigorous, frequent inspection by the classification society during her service life, while the inclusion of EO within the list will confirm the requisite automation and monitoring installations to permit periods of unmanned engine room operation.

The cargo section will be encased by 2.3-m double sides and 2.4-m double bottom, and the double- hulled structure will enable the inner sides of the cargo tanks to be flat and obstruction-free, making them easier to clean. Offering a laden speed of 15.2-knots and daily fuel consumption of 60.5 tons, the 22,920-bhp class is considered especially suitable for sensitive waters such as the Baltic.

The project demonstrates that environmental protection and good economy can go hand in hand over an extended life span. There is indeed a story in the class symbols.

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