151 - 08/00 - Carriage of millscale: Instability caused by liquification at very low moisture levels
When loading a cargo of millscale in bulk from Rotterdam a Member discovered that about 1,100 mt had been in an open storage area since March 2000 following part shipment on the IUGO. That vessel unfortunately sank shortly after sailing and it is thought it became unstable once in the seaway due to the movement of the cargo in the holds.
Millscale has a very low moisture flow point and can readily develop fluid-like properties..It is difficult to obtain representative samples as each bucket-load can be different and can take about 48 hours to analyse each sample. Cargo which has been stored in the open is likely to have a moisture content in excess of the low levels required for this commodity and the appointed surveyors in the Netherlands, being well aware of the problem after the IUGO, were not prepared to put their name to a Safe to Carry Certificate.
In view of the dangerous nature of this cargo, Members intending to carry it should ensure that adequate precautions, including a full pre-loading inspection, are carried out.
Source of information:
Dutch P&I Services, Rotterdam
through Martyn Haines