Panama Approves First Specialized Vessel for Carriage of Nickel Ore

Panama Approves First Specialized Vessel for Carriage of Nickel Ore


Vessel built by Naikai Zosen for Nissho Shipping will become first NK classed
ship to incorporate special construction for carriage of liquefiable cargoes

A new vessel being built at Japanese shipyard Naikai Zosen Corporation for shipowner Nissho Shipping Co., Ltd. became the first vessel to receive approval from the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) in accordance with part of the IMSBC code governing carriage of cargoes which may liquefy on 17 October. The approval certifies that the vessel makes use of special construction features to ensure that it can safely load cargoes that may liquefy, including volatile cargoes like Nickel Ore, even if such cargoes exceed their transportable moisture limit.

The certification, which was obtained with technical assistance from ClassNK, was issued for a new 27,200 dwt open-hatch bulk carrier being built by Naikai Zosen for delivery to Nissho Shipping in the fall of 2012. The vessel has been specifically designed to transport nickel-ore cargoes, and utilizes a special construction which allows nickel ore cargoes to be carried safely even in they liquefy in transit. This means that the vessel will be able to transport such cargoes even if unexpected rain or waves increase the moisture level past the limits laid out by the IMSBC code.

With this certification, ClassNK continues to show its leadership with regards to nickel ore cargoes, which have become an increasingly important concern following several casualties attributed to the dangerous cargo last year. The Society released its Guidelines for the Safe Carriage of Nickel Ore in June of this year in order to help address industry concerns about the dangerous cargo, which was cited a cause for a number of casualties at the end of 2010. ClassNK is currently revising the guidelines to incorporate new design elements to ensure the safe transportation of such cargoes such as those used in the vessel being built by Naikai Zosen. By establishing clear guidelines for the use of these elements, NK hopes to make it easier for flag administrations to approve such new designs, and in turn contribute to the safety of the world’s bulk carrier fleet.