DNV issues statement about ‘leaking’ VLOC

16 Jan 2012

Det Norske Veritas has issued a statement to say that its calculations have demonstrated that the damage to the VLOC ‘Vale Beijing’ was not caused by any global strength issue.

The VLOC (very large ore carrier) Vale Beijing suffered water ingress, believed to have resulted from cracks in the hull, when loading ore at Ponta da Madeira in North Eastern Brazil in December. The ship was moved to an anchorage in the area.

DNV does not believe that single pass loading (covered by the class notation EL-2) contributed to the damage. DNV says that the incident was not caused by any global strength issue or by the effect of single pass loading and associated loading rates. Hence, the features covered by the class notation EL-2 did not contribute to the problem. Further, the Vale Beijing incident is not related to a general structural problem for VLOCs. DNV’s calculations show that the cause of the damage is presumably related to the local buckling strength in some areas of the web frames in the aft ballast tanks. This conclusion is subject to the results of the ongoing investigation and the follow-up survey after the cargo discharge and dry-docking.

An action plan for repairs is being carried out under the supervision of all concerned parties, the owner, shipyard and two relevant class societies. The Vale Beijing can leave for its designated destination once the necessary safety precautions have been taken.

As a safeguarding measure, DNV has reviewed other VLOCs classed by the society, including ships under construction. “This review did not reveal any structural insuffiences in these designs and consequently they can continue to trade as normal,” says the DNV statement.

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