Press Release: UK P&I Club advises on the hazards in shipping coal from Indonesia

There are various hazards associated with the trade in coal. UK P&I Club’s Loss Prevention Team highlights the risks involved, and advises on the relevant actions to take in order to reduce accidents.

Self-heating incidents involving coal cargoes loaded at Indonesian ports have become increasingly frequent in recent years. The problem appears to be primarily related to the nature of the coals, and may be exacerbated by the way they are handled prior to and during loading.

UK P&I Club provides practical tips on how to correctly handle and store coal:

  • The two primary concerns with coal cargoes are that they may self-heat and that they may emit methane (a flammable gas). The IMSBC Code provides that the shippers’ cargo declaration shall specify whether the cargo may be liable to emit methane or self-heat.
  • During loading the temperature of the cargo has to be monitored regularly and any cargo at a temperature in excess of 55ºC must be rejected. The cargo holds should be closed immediately after completion of loading in each cargo space. If delays occur during loading, partially filled holds have to be closed and they should not be ventilated.
  • Once the holds are closed, monitoring of the hold atmosphere for methane, carbon monoxide and oxygen has to start immediately, with the proper record of results. If any of the results give cause for concern, the Club has to be notified immediately.
  • Temperatures measured by lowering thermometers into sounding pipes may be useful in general terms but should not be relied upon to reflect any changes occurring in the bulk of the cargo, as it will only detect heating of the coal in the immediate vicinity of the sounding pipe. Gas measurement readings will provide more reliable information.

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For further details, please contact:

Gareth David / Arran Fano / Ed Hooper

Four Broadgate

+44 20 3697 4200

Notes to editors

The UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1865 the UK P&I Club insures over 225 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. ‘A (Stable)’ rated by Standard & Poor’s with free reserves and hybrid capital of $559m the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise which ensure ‘best in class’ underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.

The UK P&I Club is managed by Thomas Miller, an independent and international insurance, professional and investment services provider.

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services. 

Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller’s origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Thomas Miller also manages insurance facilities for all the self-employed barristers in England & Wales, as well as trustees of pension schemes, patent agents and housing associations. 

Principal activities include:

  • Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals
  • Investment and wealth management for institutions and private clients
  • Professional services
  • Building defects insurance

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