Marine Surveyor’s Role in issuing Hot and Cold Work Permit

The hot work permit will be required on-board the vessels or on the sites in case of doing the below,

• welding
• Cutting
• Grinding
• Brazing
• Hot riveting
• Similar activities causing flames or heating or sparks.

Constellation marine services is certified and approved company to do Hot and cold work with approved and qualified surveyors with experience on Hot and cold work by minimum 5 to 30 years following Health, Safety, Environment, IOSH & NEBOSH rules while conducting the inspection, When we (Constellation Marine Services) receive a nomination for Hot work permit will confirm the location, Scope and timing of the work, then will visit the vessel with full PPE and introduce ourselves to master, Chief Engineer, safety officer then start to inspect the location, Each location have its procedure to follow but will talk generally about our main check points for Hot Work,

• Fire watch, fire hose, fire extinguisher, fire blanket must be available and ready at the site continuously till completion of the work.
• The location must be clean and without any combustible materials.
• Hot work must be 0.5 M from any fuel tank, non-gas free tank or vents by minimum.
• The adjacent insulation must be removed for 0.5 m by minimum.
• Appropriate work signs and tags to be available.
• All deck opening and opened manholes work site must be barricaded.
• No Hot work during the bunkering of fuel or painting jobs
• If the hot work inside tank must be gas free and if fuel tank must be dry and fully cleaned, and proper ventilation, access and communication must be provided.
• If the hot work for pipes we have make sure the valves closed and pipe is empty from any liquid and water flushed
• If the work at height we have to check the scaffolding is solid and secured, scaffolding tag is provided or no, Proper working platform provided and the workers must wear the proper PPE with rope access to make sure in case of any problem he will not fail down.

The cold work permit will be required on-board the vessels or on the sites in case of doing any Non-routine activates such as below jobs,

• Painting
• Overhauling of Engines, Generators…. etc.
• Blasting
• Work at height

In the cold work requirement constellation surveyor are diligently check all the required point to keep the work area and workers safe form accidents or injuries and as mentioned before each activity have a different procedure to follow in constellation Marine services.

SPECIALISED ON CHEMICAL TANKER CLEANING GUIDANCE & EXPEDITING CARGO OPERATION.

We, constellation marine services as marine and ship surveyors provides an expert guidance and offer supervision on Tank cleaning of a chemical tanker which is more efficient and economical, including cargo contamination claim advisory & cargo expeditors for oil & chemical cargoes.

There are several operations that had to be carried out to maximize the efficiency of tank cleaning. That new innovative technologies in tank cleaning have raised the standards in marine industry. There are many ways to realize the optimum cleaning efficiency for different tanks. The evaluation of tank cleaning options starts with the audit of operations which are as follows,

1. Number of tanks require cleaning.
2. Are obstructions in the tanks present (e.g. agitators, mixers).
3. What residue needs to be removed.
4. Are cleaning agents required or is water sufficient?
5. What are the methods that can be used for tank cleaning?

After these steps, verify the results obtained and ensure that the best cleaning values can be achieved in terms of accuracy and reliability. Advancements in technology have made it easier to remove stubborn residues, shorten cleaning cycle times and achieve higher levels of automation. Presented in this paper are the methods used to perform tank cleaning to a standard which complies with the current legislation? If tank cleaning technologies are effective, then operating costs are minimal.

Tank cleaning methods onboard chemical tankers

On chemical Tankers, cargo tanks may be coated with various types of materials. Therefore, it is important to check with the P&A manual and the Paint Manufacturers Coating Resistance list prior to commencing Tank Cleaning Operations in order to ascertain the tank coating materials and any limitations with regards to temperature and use of cleaning chemicals which may be applicable to the vessel.

Tank cleaning on chemical a tanker is generally the responsibility of the ship staff. Tank cleaning must be planned according to the previous cargo loaded. But the matter can be still more complicated, as cleanliness for one and the same product may vary, depending on who the receiver is and the final intended purpose of the cargo.

Examples: glycol is intended for cosmetics or pharmaceutical purposes, this requires completely cleaned and odorless tanks. However, glycol intended for antifreezes; caustic soda for making paper, is more sensitive to iron contamination than caustic soda for the aluminum industry.

Modern Chemical tanker tank cleaning process

Fig: Modern Chemical tanker tank cleaning process using steam spray

It must be mentioned first that the majority of cleaning operations on board chemical tanker are being carried out by means of water washing only. Further chemical cleaning is required for only a limited number of cargoes, but these cases may be very important.

One must take into considerations, the nature of the previous cargo, and the cargo to be loaded, time factor, available equipment and cleaning chemicals etc. It is stated that the necessary degree of cleanliness for several products is in line with what cargo surveyors normally require.

Generally speaking one should use mechanical tank cleaning methods, that is usually washing with water, before applying more expensive methods involving chemical cleaning agents. The most expensive, and least safe, method is manual cleaning, which should be kept to a minimum. Manual work should preferably be reduced to inspection and possibly to a final drying up of washing water only.

It is important to drain the tanks as much as possible to reduce pollution of the seas to an absolute minimum. This will now be even more important with the anti-pollution Convention of 1973.

Examples of measures on how to obtain the best possible cargo stripping:

i) Due regard to ship’s trim and heel.

ii) Viscous cargos may first be stripped from the various tanks to one tank near the pump room and from there be pumped ashore.

iii) Keep the cargo temperature sufficiently high so that the cargo drains also from remote corners of the tanks, especially in cold climates.

iv) Waxy deposits under the heating coils can sometimes be melted out by means of filling with water and then applying heat to the coils.

v) Sometimes steaming is allowed during discharge of molasses, which facilitates draining of molasses from the bulkheads.

vi) Vegetable oil tanks may in the last phase of discharge be recirculated and hosed down with vegetable oil taken from the cargo pump delivery side . Similarly, phosphoric acid can be recirculated to loosen sediments on the tank bottom.

vii) Drain cargo piping to shore. It is useful to have a small stripping pump with 50 mm delivery line to the hose connection for delivery of contents in the cargo piping to shore.

viii) Before loading sensitive cargoes: mudboxes, valve bodies and pump housings must be drained by opening the drain plugs (with due regard to personal safety).

Water washing may be inadequate or inappropriate after the carriage of certain products because tanks can only be cleaned by special methods or cleaning agents. Where it is decided to use these special cleaning methods, and well documented experience indicates that it is safe to do so, thorough company guidance should be provided that describes the procedures for the ship to follow.

Where a special cleaning method is to be used in port, local authorities may impose additional safety or environmental requirements.

Some cargoes may react with certain cleaning agents and produce large amounts of toxic or flammable vapours, or render equipment such as pumps inoperable. The choice of a tank cleaning agent should be made with full knowledge of the cargo characteristics.

If a special method involving cleaning agents is to be used, it may create an additional hazard for the crew. Shipboard procedures should ensure that personnel are familiar with, and protected from, the health hazards associated with such a method. The cleaning agents may be added to the wash water or used alone. The cleaning procedures adopted should not entail the need for personnel to enter the tank.

If, however, the only practical means of cleaning involves personnel entering the tank then the precautions should be strictly followed. No one should enter any cargo tank unless express permission to do so has been received from the responsible officer and all appropriate precautions are taken. The tank atmosphere should be safe for entry and an entry permit issued. Chemical absorption detectors should be used for detecting the presence of specific gases and vapors at TLV levels.

In exceptional circumstances the requirement might arise for wiping down product residues from the tank walls by using a chemical solvent in a localized area. The amount used should be small, and the personnel involved should be aware that its use may modify the atmosphere. The introduction of the solvent into the tank might also generate additional risks such as toxicity or flammability. Such risks should be carefully evaluated before starting the operation, which should not be undertaken unless the personnel involved can be effectively protected from those risks. Data sheets for the chemical solvent used should be available on board.

In addition, manufacturer’s instructions or recommendations for the use of commercial products should be observed, and the resulting slops disposed of in accordance with the ship’s P&A Manual.
Thus, we can conclude that tank cleaning on a chemical tanker is a challenging task and planning of carrying out same plays a very important role, as there is lot of commercial pressure and it has to be completed in a given time limit.

By
Capt. Manish Kumar
Principal Consultant (chemical and oil/products cargoes)
Constellation marine services.
(Prime area of work – UAE ports, Fujairah, Abu dhabi, Ras Al Khaima, Mina Sagar, Sharjah, Ajman, Dubai, Hamriyah, Jabel Ali, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar (Mina Hamad) (mesaieed), Egypt (Alexandria) or fuel, Sohar, Muscat, Salalah).

BARGE AND TUG OCEAN TOWING INSPECTION

The objective of the towage inspection is to ensure safety of life at sea, prevention of human injury and loss of valuable cargo that is being towed. To make sure the cargo loaded from safe berth at port “A” is safely transported to safe berth “B” in the same or another country, a towing inspection is required to be carried out onboard. The client or charterer will appoint an approved (Gov.) marine survey company to issue the fitness certificate for Safe Ocean towage according to the IMO guideline resolution A. 765(18).

In the region of UAE. Who can carry out an ocean towage inspection?

We, Constellation Marine Services are one of the Federal Transport Authority’s leading marine survey company utilizing the expertise Naval Architects, Master Mariners, Chartered Engineers and consultant surveyors who are ready to deliver professional service which complies with marine standards while still striving to exceed the client’s expectation.

A typical towage approval inspection will start with a Surveyor from Constellation Marine Services appointed to carry out towing inspection in, for example, Mina Saqr port or port of Fujairah.

The below is an enumeration of the sequence of events associated with this activity:

In our attendance, the loading was completed, barge and the towing tug was alongside double banked (Stbd. side to Stbd. side). The barge was loaded with cargo, as per draft survey report onboard the total loaded cargo was 15,580 MT. and the designated port of discharge at a foreign port with GCC state executing an international voyage.
The appointed surveyor inspected the condition of barge this inspection included: navigation lights, summer load line mark (plimsol line), towing gears such as smith bracket, shackles, chaffing chain etc., water tight integrity and emergency towing arrangement or barge towing arrangement.

Upon boarding the towing tug the following documents for barge and towing tug are checked onboard for their validity amongst other things.

1. certificate of registry
2. International load line,
3. International tonnage certificate,
4. P & I certificate,
5. H & M certificate,
6. Proof/ through load test certificate of towing arrangement (barge & tug).
7. Loose gear certificate of barge (Main & Emergency towing assembly).
8. Loos gear certificate for tug towing gears.
9. Towing winch manufacture certificate.

As per the instruction of attending surveyor, to the towing tug master connected the pennant wire of the main tow line of winch and heave up the delta plate for visual inspection. During this operation it was a challenging job for a master of the tug for heaving the delta plate and place it on the main deck of the tug, therefore, the master noticed that at an maximum haul of towing winch the delta plate and its corresponding lines got stuck and the master informed the attending surveyor, that he needed to board, Thereafter, the attending surveyor from Constellation Marine explained the reason why it may have been stuck and instructed the matter in professional way to resolve matter & assisted in all ways.

The reason why the main towing delta plate was stuck? And the master refused to heave up the delta plate because the master is aware of there will be pressure building on the towing connections (chaffing chain, bridle wire and pennant wire) and there is a chance for breakage of lines.

Therefore, the attending surveyor explained, the difficulties for heaving up delta plate is because the tug in double banked which is paralleling moored. In such case, the chaffing chain, bridle wire on the other end (port side of barge) will get stuck, since the EWL was 5X15 Mtrs. If Breadth of the barge is more than 22Mtrs.

TOWING INSPECTION

The attending surveyor instructed the master of the tug to make an angle of 90 degree corresponding to the barge bow and slack the forward mooring lines to keep the tug in contact with barge and then heave up. Eventually the delta plate came out of the water and placed on the main deck for our complete inspection.

Once the delta plate was on the main deck, it had been noted that the barge port side bridle wire was disconnected with delta plate and eventually other shackle pins were loose. Thereafter the ship crew heaved the port side bridle wire with the help of tugger winch and reconnected with delta plate.

Delta Plate appeared without bridle wire

Pic # 1. Delta Plate appeared without bridle wire

After reconnecting the bridle wire with new split pins.

Pic # 2. After reconnecting the bridle wire with new split pins.

Thereafter, informed the chief officer to make other shackle pins tight and change with new split pins and inspected the main and emergency towing assembly arrangement and tug bollard pull adequacy to tow the fully loaded barge even in the rough se condition (swell height >2M).

Hence, towing inspections are important to save the client’s valuable cargo.

BARGE AND TUG OCEAN TOWING INSPECTION

Prepared by
Engr. Syed Yasir Ahmed
Naval Architect /Marine Design Engineer