Global consortium investigates problem of solid bulk cargo liquefaction

A global consortium of cross industry partners has been convened to address the problem of solid bulk cargo liquefaction in ships, reports marine consultancy Solis, which is one of the partners in the consortium.

It was noted that this had been responsible for the loss of more than 100 seafarers’ lives and nine bulk carriers in the past decade. This corresponded to 10% of recorded bulk carrier losses and 50% of fatalities, indicating the seriousness of vessel loss due to cargo liquefaction.

The objective of the consortium will be to develop new safety protocols and operational controls to save lives and reduce vessel losses by sharing knowledge and expertise.

The three year project is being led and coordinated by the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute, University of Southampton and funded by the Lloyds Register Foundation.

The consortium said that an important aspect was the extent of cross industry participation. The consortium underpinning the work spanned mining companies, ship owners, trade associations, insurers, a class society, lawyers, consultants, testing houses, a regulator, NGOs and academics from UK and international institutions with a range of discipline expertise across the physical and social sciences and law.

Libya: Port situation update (#prcf)

As of February 19th 2021 the situation involving the ports in Libya was as follows:

Operating ports

  • Al Khoms Port
  • Benghazi Port
  • Bouri Port
  • Es Sider Port
  • Farwah Port
  • Marsa El Brega Port
  • Marsa El Hariga Port
  • Mellitah Port
  • Misurata Port
  • Ras Lanuf Port
  • Tobruk Port
  • Tripoli Port
  • Zawia/Zawiyya Port
  • Zuetine Port

Closed ports

  • Derna Port
  • Sirte Port

The situation in Libya continued to be unstable. Shipowners and operators were recommended to assess all port calls on a case-by-case basis and to continue exercising caution when entering Libyan ports and waters.

The Club recommended that vessels should not navigate in or near to the coastal waters of Benghazi, Derna and Sirte, including the militarized area south of 34 00’N. A fine equivalent to about $107,000 might be imposed for any breaches.

Turkish vessels and crew should not call at any Libyan East ports due to the warning issued by the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Vessels calling at Libyan ports should seek clarification on the Covid-19 restrictions and requirements in ample time prior to arrival with the local agent.

Vessels should report to local port agents their schedules prior to arrival at any Libyan port, including a declaration of the vessel’s sailing route, whether they are loading or discharging cargo and the type of cargo on board, so that the agents can notify the appropriate authorities.

All vessels intending to call at Benghazi should submit to their appointed local port agent their cargo declaration along with the vessel’s and owner’s particulars, and P&I Club details prior to arrival.

The above recommendations are in addition to the usual sanctions checks, given that several Libyan individuals and entities are subject to international sanctions.

All Covid-19 procedures in Libya primarily remain the same. However, Skuld’s correspondent Shtewi Legal & Pandi Services has advised that there were no longer remote pilotage requirements. Directives requiring vessels to quarantine for 14 days at anchorage might also now differ.

The Libyan Ports and Maritime Transport Authority has published a manual detailing the measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for ships calling at Libyan ports which should be followed by all ships.

Shipowners and operators are advised to contact local ship’s agents and P&I Correspondents for the most up-to-date information given that the situation continues to change swiftly.

The US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (US MARAD) issued an updated advisory on February 10th which lists the following guidance:

Vessels operating in Libya were advised to review security measures, ensure AIS was always transmitting(except when transmitting creates a threat to the safety or security of the ship or where a security incident is imminent, consistent with provisions of SOLAS and US law), and to monitor VHF Channel 16.

Vessels at anchor, operating in restricted manoeuvring environments, or proceeding at slow speeds were advised to be especially vigilant. Commercial vessels transiting the area were advised to conduct a risk assessment and incorporate appropriate protective measures into their vessel security plans.

Masters, shipowners and operators were encouraged to check in with the NATO Shipping Centre upon entering the Mediterranean Sea.