General advice regarding Loading of coal at Venezuela


That most usual issues regarding the loading of coal at Maracaibo are related to discrepancies between ship/short figures and thus potential shortages. Please note that we´re recorded that shore scales aren’t working properly and therefore it´s advisable to conduct draft surveys in order to certify that the cargo is loaded as per arrangements.
The IMSBC code, specifically it´s schedule, in Appendix 1 refers to the Bulk Cargo Shipping Name (BCSN) “COAL (bituminous and anthracite)”. As material hazardous in bulk (MHB) it is placed in Group B (and A). Group B cargoes possess a chemical hazard; coal may create flammable atmospheres, may heat spontaneously, may deplete the oxygen concentration and may corrode metal structures. When the cargo oxidises (generating heat) it releases the toxic gas carbon monoxide. Group A cargoes are defined as those which may liquefy if shipped at moisture contents in excess of their transportable moisture limit (TML). Procedures and precautions for safe shipment are described in the appendix to the schedule in the Code.
The IMSBC Code requires vessels carrying coal to carry gas detectors, and that their crew are trained in their use. The gas detector should first be checked in a gas-free area, before entering enclosed spaces or taking hold measurements.The vessel should consider obtaining a gas detector with an infrared sensor which does not require oxygen to provide accurate flammable gas readings. In case the crew isnt trained properly, it´s advisable to hire an expert to provide guidance to the crew in order to ensure a safe voyage.
Although not required by the IMSBC Code, having an infrared thermometer can greatly assist the crew in monitoring the surface of the cargo prior to and during loading, to ensure that it is not loaded above 55°C. The IMSBC Code requires Shippers to provide cargo details including moisture content, sulphur content, particle size, and information on whether the cargo is liable to emit methane, self-heat, or both.
In consideration of the above, a preloading survey may also be advisable in order to assist the Master to ensure that the cargo is loaded according to the IMBC code.
Should you have any question about this or any other matter, please don’t hesitate on contacting us. Also, remember to credit our company if you choose to share this information
Carlos Carrasco
Operations Manager
Venepandi, C.A.

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