Liquefaction – the latest position
Members will be aware that the Club has recently published a circular (Circular 8/12) highlighting the potential dangers posed by cargoes of nickel ore which are shipped from Indonesia and the Philippines. The circular, which was published in very similar form by all clubs within the International Group of P&I Clubs, was prompted by recent casualties attributed to nickel ore cargoes loaded from ports in Indonesia or in the Philippines, together with concerns at whether the authorities in both countries were willing to effectively oversee the trade in this commodity.
The circular also follows a period of significant comment on ore cargoes generally and the risks of liquefaction posed in the transportation of such cargoes. Five bulk carriers have been lost over the past two years following what is widely assumed to have been the liquefaction of their cargoes of nickel ore. At the same time, trade in ore cargoes has played a significant role within the bulk carrier market with hundreds of millions of tonnes of cargo shipped worldwide in 2011.
Our aim within these pages is to explain the rationale behind the latest circular, and to assist Members in assimilating the contrasting commercial pressures of transporting these cargoes with the overriding desire for safety. We also explain how the UK Club has and continues to support its Members through the dissemination of advice, provision of practical assistance at load ports and direct one-to-one exchanges with its executives in the Club’s international network of offices.
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