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Marine Cargo Pre-loading Survey and Inspection

Marine Cargo Pre-loading Survey and Inspection – Pre-loading Cargo Inspection Procedure

Marine Cargo Pre-loading Survey and Inspection:Constellation Marine Services as ship and cargo surveyors would like to bring to the attention of the shipping community the benefits of appointing the survey Company M/s. Constellation Marine Services to carry out a pre-loading inspection of the cargo /container during loading the cargo into an export container. Constellation Marine Services  have extensively  trained their staff surveyors  to prepare them to carry out the job they are assigned by protecting the interest of the party they are representing and ensuring safety of the cargo during transit.

Upon receiving an enquiry from a customer by Constellation Marine Services, the scope of the job is discussed and confirmed before sending the quotation. Once the quotation is approved and nomination is confirmed. The job is assigned to a competent surveyor from the staff with detailed briefing on the scope and requirements to smoothly carry out the nominated job.

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Vessel Hold Cleaning Survey

Vessel Hold Cleaning Services and Survey

The design of modern dry bulk carriers is centered on their holds and has over time evolved to be as efficient as possible in terms of volume of cargo carried.

But what happens when the voyage is completed and the cargo holds are empty? What comes next is a process that can make the difference between securing the ship’s next employment and losing a charter by failing to meet regulatory requirements.

Good cargo hold cleaning is vital for dry cargo ship owners and operators. This is where Constellation Marine Services can offer valuable support to ship owners, with a hold cleaning product that is extremely efficient, economical and consistent in application and end result.

Constellation offers Hold cleaning and hold inspection survey services that can demystify various and rigorous requirements, with predictable supply of manpower, material and proprietary knowledge so that owners can keep vessels to the correct standards between voyages no matter where they are in the region.

But what is hold cleaning – Preparation of a cargo hold prior loading is not just sweeping, cleaning or washing down the hold. There are a number of matters to consider, and failing to adhere to good practice can result in a failure to pass cargo hold inspection.

In the dry bulk trades, and with reference to West of England loss prevention bulletin there are essentially five grades of hold cleanliness as may be specified in the shippers / charterers contractual agreements:

• Hospital clean, or ‘stringent’ cleanliness
• Grain clean, or high cleanliness
• Normal clean
• Shovel clean
• Load on top

Hospital clean is the most stringent, requiring the holds to have 100% intact paint coatings on all surfaces, including the tank top, all ladder rungs and undersides of hatches. The standard of hospital clean is a requirement for certain cargoes, for example kaolin/china clay, mineral sands including zircon, barites, rutile sand, ilmenite, fluorspar, chrome ore, soda ash, rice in bulk, and high grades of wood pulp. Generally, these high standards of cleanliness will only be met by vessels trading exclusively with such cargoes. It will rarely be required in the tramp trades.
Grain clean is the most common requirement. A ship will be required to be grain clean for the majority of bulk cargoes, such as all grains, soya meal and soya products, alumina, Sulphur, bulk cement, bauxite, concentrates, and bulk fertilizers.

Normal clean means that the holds are swept clean, with no residues of the previous cargo, and washed down (or not, depending on charterer’s requirements), that is, cleaned sufficiently for taking cargoes similar to or compatible with the previous cargo.

Load on top means exactly what it says – the cargo is loaded on top of existing cargo residues. This standard will commonly be required where a ship is trading continuously with the same commodity and grade of that commodity. With load on top, guidance may be necessary for the master on any cleaning requirements, including the use of bulldozers, shovels and cleaning gangs.

Now what is Grain Clean, the most commonly used standard of cleanliness?

The usual instructions a master of a bulk carrier may receive, particularly if his ship is unfixed for next employment, is clean to grain clean on completion of discharge. There is very little information provided to the Master beyond the word Grain, and hence a complexity on the exact standards required, the resources to be deployed and the time available for the evolution, exists.

By definition Grain clean is “clean, swept, washed down by fresh water and free from insects, odors, residue of previous cargo /loose rust scale/paint flakes etc. dried up, and ready to receive charterers’ intended cargo subject to shippers’/relevant surveyors’ inspection”

It is also important to differentiate loose scale from scale from oxidation rust.

Loose scale will break away when struck with a fist or when light pressure is applied with a knife blade or scraper under the edge of the scale. Oxidation rust will typically form on bare metal surfaces but will not flake off when struck or when light pressure from a knife is applied. Generally, the presence of hard-adhering scale within a hold is acceptable in a grain clean hold. The scale should not fall off during the voyage or during normal cargo operations.

Different countries also apply different standards to what constitutes an acceptable amount of loose scale or loose paint. While in some countries, no such material is permitted, for example the United States Department of Agriculture (reference) permits a single area of loose paint or loose scale of 2.32 sq. m, or several patches that in total do not exceed 9.26 sq. m, before a hold is deemed to be unfit.

In practice, the hold should be free of loose scale as each surveyor’s interpretation of the required ‘standard’ may vary.

But irrespective of the standards to which a particular vessels holds are to be cleaned, the single biggest issue faced by the crew for hold cleaning is the size of the spaces that are to be cleaned. In typical Panamax Bulk Carriers, it is not unusual to have a hold space of around 17,000 CBM to be cleaned, and imagine this being multiplied by 5 or 7 holds. In ideal conditions, the crew may start cleaning during the discharge process itself, but in real world scenarios, the time available is much more limited.

To make matters worse, current hold wash discharge restrictions have increased 10 folds, and adherence (or lack of) to MARPOL Annex V has led to severe imposition of fines and penalties.

It is thus imperative that ship owners and operators consider the RIGHT SOLUTION, as it is likely that the consequences of not meeting the charterer’s requirements can be extreme.

We invite ship owners and operators to experience Constellation Marine services hold survey and cleaning bespoke solutions, from the beginning of the Hold cleaning process, to avoid situations where “one piece of coal left behind” can get the hold failed.

Constellation’s policy prioritizes the importance of hold cleaning to exacting standards and above, and our consultancy and advice is aimed to remove any misunderstanding that could potentially led to non-compliance, or worst, financial harm.

Cargo hold cleaning expenses initially may not seem as a payoff for ship owners or operators, but with the right partner and procedures that keep the ship moving and trading, will surely reflect on their bottom line.

To end; in the words of Asmyhr Dagfinn, Operation Manager AS Klaveness – “There are two places that a ship owner needs to invest; the holds and the engine. A good engine can help you to save on fuel, but the income comes from the holds,” adds Asmyhr. “If your holds are dirty and your ship is refused a charter, then you still have all the costs but no income. At that point you will understand there is no point trying to save on items which make a difference between making money and losing it”.

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Procedure of sampling of fuel oil during bunkering

Taking bunker fuel oil sample is utmost an important process during any bunkering as equal to calculation of transfer quantity. The Bunker fuel sampling includes the method of taking the sample, the location of sampling and witnessing it. Marine fuel deliveries are usually measured by volume but paid for by weight, so bunker sample testing allows ships owners to measure density & thus to calculate the weight of fuel oil delivered and to ensure the parameters were meeting with requested or suitable for engines. Bunker fuel oil samples are also to be maintained on board for Port State Inspection under MARPOL 73/78 annex VI.

Location of Sampling

According to IMO Guidelines & MARPOL Annex VI, the bunker sampling to be collected at the receiving ship’s inlet bunker manifold if there is no prior instruction from the concerned.

If the vessel’s manifold is not fitted with a proper line sampler and the bunker tanker is unable to provide a proper custody transfer sampler, the sample should be taken at the bunker tanker manifold, provided the bunker tanker manifold is fitted with accepted type of sampling device.

If both the vessel and bunker tanker do not have any proper sampling device at the manifold, use of sampling valve on the bunker line or tank sampling may be considered with agreement from all parties concerned. If there is no sample flow at vessel’s manifold sampling device (eg. due to vacuum effect), representative sample shall be taken at the best possible alternative location.

 

Bunker fuel oil samples

Sampling Device

Commonly used sampling devices during fuel oil bunker transfer through pipeline are one of the followings

Manual drip sampler
Flow proportional automatic sampler
Time proportional automatic sampler

During Bunkering

Vessel representative shall ensure that the sampling device and receptacle for sample collection. The receptacle used shall be a clean and transparent container, which is to be fixed and sealed securely to the sampling device. Sample collection shall be started immediately upon the commencement of bunkering. During the process of sampling, should be monitored the sampling at regular intervals. The continuous sampling shall be stopped only upon completion of bunkering. If it vital that the tanks allocated on board are clean, free of sludge or previous bunker residues.

Vessel’s Chief Engineer to be ensured that the sample collected is properly mixed before pouring into the sample bottles. The sample bottles shall be sealed & labelled immediately after pouring and taken ashore to a reputed lab for testing & report to send to the vessel promptly. Typical time taken is 4 days. Until such time Chief Engineer is not expected to star using the bunker received in the main or auxiliary engines.

Click for more Services Bunker and conditional survey

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Cargo Damaged Surveys

Cargo Damage Surveys, for investigating claims

At Constellation Marine services, we know that cargo claims are inevitable. The essence of our services for claims made to you or to bring against someone brings us to take you step by step through the services we render to you. For all types of claims, we provide you with the best quality and proficiency with any type or any scenario of claims.

As mentioned above cargo claims can be brought in with different scenarios. This usually happens when there is unreasonable delay, damage, loss of the cargo at ports and terminal storages. Such cargo claims incur to mostly all carriers or their authorized handlers at some point in time.

Cargo Damage Surveys – Accountability for no physical damage, delay or loss

Cargo claims can be brought even when there is no such damage, loss or delay in the physicality of the cargo. This happens when all the recorded evidence which are in form of documents, have some aspect of the cargo i.e. weight, quantity, condition etc. different from the actual state of it. In such situations, confusion or misconstruction is caused by error in understanding the right description of the cargo. This in turn results in cargo claims, caused by monetary loss suffered by the receiver. We make sure from the first notice of a claim up until the finalization of it, provide you with complete evidence of the damages undergone by the receiver.

Cargo Damage Surveys – Inherent state of Cargo and its liabilities

In certain circumstances, the carrier cannot be held accountable for some cargo losses. Some cargo loss occurs due to the inherit state of the cargo, which is in no control of the carriers. Therefore, such circumstances as mentioned above cant be proven liable and they can take recourse of the common law or The Hague- Visby or Hamburg rules, whichever will be a defense applicable to the concerned carrier subject to terms and conditions of carriages. We make sure such damages caused by the understanding of the cargo are well understood by our client to further understand the nature of procedure it requires.

Cargo Damage Surveys –Collision (Damaged goods by third party vessel)

In event of a collision, Consisting of highly qualified team of individuals help you with the process of claims against a third party vessel. Claims can be made against another ship if the loss or damage can be recognized to the negligence of the other ship. In such an event, the ship that suffered the loss of cargos due to the third party liabilityMarine cargo claims Fujariah initiated by the insurance of formal noted protest to the ship that caused them that loss negligently will make a claim. If a ship has to bring a claim against other vessels or third party vessel and If the ship-owner and ship, i.e the commanding manager or long term charters do not have a direct link and is not the carrier then, the ship-owner can be made him liable in tort. This is because the non- carrying ship has no contract with the goods affected by the collision.

Before a lawyer is initiated, the member should always contact us in order to obtain an approval to the important evidence or to provide other assistance on the scene of an incident. Usually P&I clubs have inhouse lawyers or experience to maneuver the claim in certain courts.

We believe in being transparent in our work to our clients. Involving them in the decision-making is extremely valuable to our firm. The more the client is aware, the more they are comfortable with our services, of fact finding and prompt professional reporting.

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Marine inspection

world’s first ever ethane carrier capable of using ethane liquid for propulsion -inspected by Capt. Delzin Irani

Marine inspection -Ethane Carrier inspection

Marine inspection: Having sailed on gas carriers for majority of his sea going carrier, Our gas carrier expert Capt Delzin Irani of Constellation Marine Services had never come across any dedicated ethane carrier capable of carrying pure Ethane cargo at -104 deg C and using the same liquid ethane as fuel (liquid injection) for the main engines. She is the prototype ethane carrier built in the fourth quarter of 2016 from Dayang Shipbuilding Co., LTD, China. She is Liberian flagged and Monrovian registered vessel, who is classed by DNV-GL and owned by EcoStar36 Chartering 2 GmbH & Co. KG, Germany. Another aspect by which the inspected vessel is unique than all other gas tankers in the world, is that she has the accommodation forward which has never been seen or heard of in the gas tanker industry.

Marine inspection-Cargo Suitability inspection

Constellation Marine Services were approached by the leading marine risks underwriters for the charterers, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, to carry out the cargo suitability inspection of the Ethane Carrier during her second ever voyage from Houston, USA to Europe. We attended onboard the vessel LPG/c “Ethane Carrier”, whilst she lay safely afloat made fast starboard side along to Dock No 7, Enterprise terminal, Morgan’s point, La porte, Texas, USA on 01st Feb 2017 to carry out assessment of the cargo worthiness and to determine if the risk involved in cargo operations are mitigated.

After boarding the first of its kind and highly unique LPG carrier we noticed that she was capable of carrying out her entire loading in 24 hours and maintaining Liquid Ethane at its boiling point of -104 Deg C with the aid of 3 highly sophisticated cargo compressors, each of which has 2 condensing units (i.e Traditional sea water cooled condenser and Mycom condenser using Propylene as coolant) for condensing the compressed Ethane gas into liquid prior sending it back to the cargo tanks in liquid form. The cargo containment system is similar in functionality to the standard LPG semi pressurized ship, however is of a different shape such as tri lobe independent Type C tanks which is exclusive compared to the bi lobe independent Type C tanks of standard LPG vessel

She is a prototype to the LPG industry with a maximum ethane cargo carrying capacity of approx. 36000 cbm which has the capability to use liquid ethane as fuel in the main engine apart from the conventional LNG carriers which use Methane vapors, and not liquid, as fuel for the main engine. The liquid Ethane is stowed in two Independent Fuel Gas Tanks, aft of No 3 Cargo tank which has its 2 independent deep well pumps capable of transferring liquid directly to the engine room fuel supply line to the Main engine. Double wall segregation is available in the fuel supply line and dry air is continuously being circulated in the surrounding space of the pipeline. There is also a fixed gas detector fitted between the two layers of the double walled pipeline. The gas detector continuously monitors the atmosphere in the double wall segregation for any presence of HC content greater than 1% LEL and if it does, the automatic switches will

cut the supply of ethane cargo and change over the mode of fuel supply of the Main engine to Heavy fuel oil or Marine Gas oil depending upon the SECA area which the vessel is trading in. This new arrangement is fitted just forward of the cargo control room (CCR) on the main deck and can be witnessed from the CCR.

Marine inspection-Procedures and requirements for Safe Cargo Operations.

The vessel’s SMS had covered all the procedures and requirements for safe cargo operations onboard the vessel and safe care of cargo during transit. All the possible risks were identified in the risk assessment sheets which were incorporated in the Lloyds register mariner software. We identified 14 risks onboard during the loading operations, all of which had mitigation measures in place. The ship officers were highly experienced in the LPG trade sailing mostly on Ethylene carriers which are similar to this vessel. Loading operations were going on smoothly with the cargo pumps regularly, every 30 mins, being turned by hand and kick started with the electrical motor to ensure smooth functionality. Another unique feature on the inspected Ethane Carrier was that the High High level alarm was set at 98% which when activated would not allow further loading of cargo in the tanks. This is an inbuilt safety feature preventing the cargo tanks from the overfilling hazard associated with cargo operations.

To summarize, Our Capt Delzin endeavor was to see the vessel’s cargo worthiness and mitigation of risks involved with cargo operations were being complied with as per international standards of SIGTTO (Standard institute of gas tankers and terminal operators) and IGC (International Gas carrier) code.

 

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