TB14 - Self Heating Coal


UK Club inspectors have seen numerous ships where the BC Code (2001) has not been placed onboard

Club Inspectors have recently come across instances where ships’ crew are not familiar with, or have little knowledge of, the recommendations of the IMO Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code), with particular reference to monitoring and measuring gases associated with the carriage of coal. These gases include Carbon Monoxide (CO), Methane (CH4 ) and Oxygen (O2 ).

The Inspectors have also recently seen numerous ships where the new copy of the BC Code (2001) has not been placed onboard.

To obtain meaningful data, the ventilators should be closed for a period before the measurements are taken. This period may be chosen to suit the operational requirements of the vessel, but it is recommended that it is not less than four hours. It is vital in the interests of data interpretation that the shutdown time is constant whichever time period is selected.

These measurements should be taken on a daily basis. If the carbon monoxide results exhibit a steady rise over three consecutive days, or exceed 50 ppm on any day, the owners of the vessel should be notified. At least one manufacturer of gas sampling/monitoring equipment – Draeger – is offering training courses on the uses and the servicing/calibration of their instruments.

The courses are run at their premises in the UK, or on-site by prior arrangement.

Sources of Information:

UK P&I Ship Inspection / Loss Prevention Department

IMO BC Code (2001)


Staff Author