West of England P&I has reported that it has recently experienced a case involving an entered vessel which loaded a cargo declared as Ball Clay in Lumut, Malaysia,destined for discharge in Chittagong, Bangladesh. After a day on passage the vessel developed a 9° list to port due to liquefaction of the base of the cargo in no.1 hold. The Master was able to proceed to a place of safety without further incident.
Laboratory testing of samples of the cargo drawn from the vessel showed a Flow Moisture Point (FMP) of 29.7% and Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) of 26.7%, when determined on the flow table, and an FMP of 32.1% and TML of 28.9% when determined by the penetration test. The lowest moisture content of the cargo onboard was notably higher than either TML, at 36.4%.
West of England said that members considering loading a clay cargo, be it declared as Ball Clay or Kaolin Clay, in Lumut are strongly advised to consider the guidance contained in the Club’s Loss Prevention Safety Alert; Cargo Liquefaction Incident – Ball Clay from Malaysia, and to act accordingly.
In August 2013 West of England Club published a Loss Prevention Safety Alert detailing a similar cargo liquefaction incident, also involving a full cargo of Ball Clay loaded in Lumut, Malaysia for discharge in Chittagong, Bangladesh. http://www.westpandi.com/globalassets/loss-prevention/loss-prevention-safetyalerts/131125-sa018—cargo-liquefaction-incident—ball-clay-from-malaysia.pdf