Loading of iron ore fines at Boca Grande II transfer Station

BOCA GRANDE transfer station is an off shore vessel located in mile 1 Orinoco river (outside the river´s mouth for around 15 miles) designed for vessels to complete loadings carried out at Puerto Ordaz (mile 190 Orinoco River) or for vessels that will load only that the referred station.
It´s important to remark that we´ve noted a worrying increase of misdeclarations of iron ore fines. We´ve managed to identify the problem which is taking place because the certificates are issued when the cargo is located at the stock piles (mile 190 Orinoco River) and not made from samples collected from the station.
Since the cargo is taken to the station with the usage of barges, parameters such as the humidity, TML and FMP could vary and even pass the maximum allowed by the IMSBC code for cargoes subject to liquefaction.
In order to avoid potential losses (see: http://maritimeaccident.org/2009/07/unwanted-cargo-sinks-ship/#more-4551) we would suggest the appointment of experienced surveyor as a precautionary measure who could verify the cargo in accordance to the knowledge of it and the carriage of provisional tests such as the can test, in case free moisture is released during the test, then the samples could be collected and taken to certified labs for analysis of TML and FMP.
It´s very important to remark that despite there isn´t any certified lab in the country to carry out TML/FMP test and that samples must be taken to certified and reputed labs in Brazil or UK for analysis, some parties are taking economic advantage of this by offering tests locally which are of course not certified and less reliable so owners/charterers and/or operatiors must be aware of this situation in order to avoid it timely.
Carlos Carrasco
Operations Manager
Venepandi, C.A.

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