First NK-classed ship with special construction for liquefiable cargoes

31 Oct 2011

Japanese class society ClassNK says that a new vessel is the first to receive approval from the Panama Maritime Authority in accordance with IMBSC Code part 7.3.2.2, governing carriage of cargoes which may liquefy.

The 27,200dwt open-hatch bulk carrier is being built at Japanese yard Naikai Zosen Corporation for owner Nissho Shipping. The approval certifies that the vessel makes use of special construction features to ensure that it can safely load cargoes that may liquefy, including volatile cargoes like nickel ore, even if such cargoes exceed their transportable moisture limit. The certification was obtained with technical assistance from ClassNK.

The vessel has been specifically designed to transport nickel-ore cargoes, and utilises a construction method which allows nickel ore cargoes to be carried safely even in they liquefy in transit. This means that the vessel will be able to transport such cargoes even if unexpected rain or waves increase the moisture level past the limits laid out by the IMSBC code.

ClassNK released its Guidelines for the Safe Carriage of Nickel Ore in June of this year in order to help address industry concerns about the dangerous cargo, which was cited a cause for a number of casualties at the end of 2010. ClassNK is currently revising the guidelines to incorporate new design elements to ensure the safe transportation of such cargoes such as those used in the vessel being built by Naikai Zosen. By establishing clear guidelines for the use of these elements, NK hopes to make it easier for flag administrations to approve such new designs, and in turn contribute to the safety of the world’s bulk carrier fleet.

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