Carriage of Bauxite which may liquefy

13 February 2018 |  C18007

The cargo has been transferred from Group C cargo under the IMSBC Code to Group A due to the potential risks posed by moisture in the carriage.

Flag Administrations | Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors

The Sub-Committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC), at its 2nd session, considered matters related to the carriage of Bauxite, including some initial considerations of the circumstances surrounding the loss of the 10-year-old Bahamas flag Supramax bulk carrier Bulk Jupiter with the loss of 18 lives on January 02, 2015. In this context, the Sub-Committee noted that loss of the aforementioned ship may have been caused by liquefaction of the cargo.

Bauxite is described in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code as a Group C cargo. However, subsequent work undertaken by the industry Global Bauxite Working Group (GBWG) in conjunction with competent Authorities indicate that Bauxite presents a risk caused by moisture. As such some Bauxite cargoes should be treated as Group A cargoes.

The Sub-Committee, at its 2nd session, approved CCC.1/Circ.2 to raise awareness on the potential risks posed by moisture in the carriage of Bauxite. The advice provided by this circular has been superseded by the outcome of the research undertaken.

Having noted that some Bauxite cargoes should be classified as Group A, finalized:

  1. the draft Test Procedure for Determining the TML for Bauxite;
  2. the draft individual schedule for Bauxite of Group A having the Bulk Cargo Shipping Name “BAUXITE FINES”; and
  3. the draft amendments to the individual schedule for Bauxite of Group C,

as set out in annexes 1 to 3 of the IMO Circular CCC.1/Circ.2/Rev.1, respectively, for submission to the Maritime Safety Committee.

It is noted that:

  1. a Bauxite cargo of Group A is not listed in the IMSBC Code and shall be carried in accordance with subsection 1.3 of the Code; and
  2. the draft amendments are expected to be adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee and the date of entry into force of these draft amendments to the IMBSC Code is expected to be 1 January 2021,

decided to invite Member States to take the aforementioned draft Test Procedure and draft individual schedules for Bauxite of Group A and Group C into consideration at the time of:

  1. classification of Bauxite cargoes as Group A or Group C; and
  2. setting the preliminary suitable conditions for the carriage of this cargo in accordance with subsection 1.3 of the Code, when the cargo is classified as Group A.

The following observation by the Global Bauxite Working Group should be also noted:

“That an atypical motion of the ship (wobbling) may also be indicative of cargo instability. The master should take appropriate action.”

This atypical motions (or wobble) is caused by the movement of a free surface slurry over the top of the cargo which is out of phase with the roll period of the ship. If left unchecked this movement of cargo has the potential to further reduce stability and the risk of capsize.

Act now

Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators are requested that extreme care and appropriate action should be taken, taking into account the provisions of relevant IMO instruments when handling and carrying Bauxite in bulk.

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