446 - 1/06 - Alumina Loading Problems - Western Australia


We have been advised of several recent incidents where ships loading Alumina in Western Australia have been rejected due to uncleanliness of holds. Alumina is a refined product and any form of contamination is considered a problem.

The following recommendations to owners, loading this cargo, in this area, have been received from local consultants :-

“CARGO RESIDUES

The holds including hatch covers, coamings, deck beams, side frames, frame brackets, horizontal surfaces, ventilator trunkings, ledges, grills, ladder flanges, pipe casings, spar ceiling and wood sheathing, should be free of all residues of previous cargoes.

It is particularly noted that cement, lime, salt, phosphate, sulphur, coal and all ferrous residues are especially undesirable.

RUST SCALE

All loose rust scale must be removed from the hold prior to loading, with particular attention being given to the underside of the hatch covers, the coaming faces, the underdeck spaces at both ends of the hold, the undersides of the topside tanks, the inner surfaces of the ship’s shell plating, the “hidden” flanges of the frames and the upper and lower frame brackets, the bulkheads, ladder flanges, ventilator trunkings, ledges, grills and all hard rust scale must also be removed from the tank top, lower hopper sides and lower bulkhead areas.

FLAKING PAINT

All flaking paint scale must be moved from the hold prior to loading, with particular attention being given to the underside of the hatch cover, the coaming faces, the underdeck spaces at both ends of the hold, the undersides of the topside tanks, the inner surfaces of the ship’s shell plating, the “hidden” flanges of the frames and the upper and lower frame brackets, the bulkheads, ladder flanges, ventilator trunkings, ledges, grills and the tank tops.

GENERAL

Where applicable, the outer/upper sides of the hatch covers should be clean and free from flaking paint, residues or loose scale which could fall into the hold during loading and discharging.

BILGES AND WELLS

Bilges and bilge wells must be covered with hessian/burlap or similar permeable materials in such a manner as to prevent the entry of Alumina into the bilge or well, but to permit the entry of water.  The hessian/burlap or permeable material must be sealed around the crown with a good quality marine adhesive tape or cement.

Comments and Conclusion

The above information should be adhered to when preparing the cargo holds for an upcoming upliftment of Alumina in bulk.

In addition, and although briefly described under “General”, all hatch cover track-ways are to be free of any contaminating materials (usually rust scale from the h/covers) that will inevitably be “blown into the holds” on the completion of loading, when the ship’s crew clean the hatch track-ways prior to closing the same.

Vessels that have recently discharged a quantity of bulk cargo (especially Clinker) must ensure that the exterior surface areas on the deckhouses, cranes, timber stanchions (permanent and/or collapsible), grabs and main deck areas are free of any loose residues.

There have been many occasions where vessels on completing a discharge of “Clinker” in Kwinana, then have to prepare their cargo holds for an upliftment of Alumina in Kwinana or Bunbury.  Quite often, and despite all efforts and good intentions of the ship’s crew, the time period between the completion of discharge and the inspection for Alumina is too short. It is the view that three (3) days of good and proper cleaning, is needed to properly clean a 5-hold vessel)”

The Association would also refer Members to Carefully to Carry Newsletter February 2005 (page 26) Hold Cleaning: bulk cargoes,” which may also be of assistance.

Source of information:

ACME Marine Services International Pty Ltd

Freemantle

Through Cocks Macnish West Perth

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