International P&I Issues Calcium Hypochlorite Warning

 explosion, fire, fire safety  Comments Off on International P&I Issues Calcium Hypochlorite Warning
May 282011
 

Watch what it says on the tin. Photo: The Swedish Club

Several cargo fires have apparently been caused by self-ignition of Calcium Hypochlorite, a powerful oxidising agent, including Hanjin Pennsylvania, CMA Djakarta, DG Harmony, Sea Elegance and last year’s Charlotte Maersk incident. Now the International Group of P&I Clubs has issued a Frequency Asked Questions, FAQ, on the chemical through its members.

Says Det Norsk Veritas: “Container fires have received a lot of press coverage in recent years. Huge fires have caused big ships to be abandoned and lost, such as the Hanjin Pennsylvania in November 2002, and the Hyundai Fortune in 2006. The fires are often associated with problem cargoes like calcium hypochlorite, an oxidizing agent that will self ignite under given conditions. Extinguishing such fires can be a real problem as oxygen is released by the substance when burning, making the fire self sustaining”. Continue reading »

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SMI Sued For $400m For Hebei Spirit

 collision, oil pollution, oil spill  Comments Off on SMI Sued For $400m For Hebei Spirit
Mar 182010
 
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Hebei Spirit oil spill was a major, and expensive, pollution event.

Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, is being sued for a total of $400m by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992, also known as the 1992 Fund, and Skuld P&I Club, the Hebei Spirit insurer. Investigations into the cause of the incident so far indicate that negligence by the crane barge and the three towing tugs was the substantive cause of the collision and that there are grounds to deny the owner of the crane barge, Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, the right to limit its liability for the incident.

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Skuld Sues Samsung

 oil spill, oil tanker  Comments Off on Skuld Sues Samsung
Feb 102009
 

Owners of the Hebei Spirit and insurers, Assuranceforeningen Skuld, and the IOPC Fund started recourse proceedings against Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, in the Ningbo Maritime Court, China, for claims, costs, and losses totalling some $400 million. The claim arises from the 11,000 tonnes oil spill caused when a massive Samsung owned and operated crane barge broke free from the Samsung operated towing tugs and a tow line broke and struck the anchored Very Large Crude Carrier tanker, Hebei Spirit, on 7the December 2007.

Hebei Spirit, 146 848 gross tonnes, laden with 209,000 tonnes of crude oil, was struck by the crane barge Samsung No 1, while at anchor about five miles off Taean on the west coast of South Korea. About 10,500 tonnes of crude oil escaped into the sea from the Hebei Spirit and much of South Korea’s western coast was affected to varying degrees.

The 1992 Fund and the shipowner’s insurer, the Skuld P&I Club, have established a claims office in Seoul to handle of claims for compensation and to help claimants.

South Korea is a Party to the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions and compensation is available to any individual, business, private organisation or public body which has suffered pollution damage as a result of the Hebei Spirit incident. The total amount of compensation available under these conventions is US$304 million, of which $134 million is available from the shipowner’s insurer, the Skuld P&I Club, under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention, and up to $169 million from the 1992 Fund. The total amount of the losses arising from the spill is currently estimated at US$411-437 million and it is almost certain that the full amount of compensation available under the conventions will be paid. Costs for significant amounts will also be incurred.

Investigations into the cause of the incident so far indicate that negligence by the crane barge and the three towing tugs was the substantive cause of the collision and that there are grounds to deny the owner of the crane barge, Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, the right to limit its liability for the incident. In conjunction with the Hebei Spirit’s owner and its insurer, Skuld P&I Club, the 1992 Fund, in order to protect its interests, has commenced recourse proceedings against SHI in the Ningbo Maritime Court, China. The total amount claimed by the 1992 Fund is some $200 million, which is in addition to a claim for some $200 million by the owner and Skuld P&I Club.

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Skuld Reveals Fighting Spirit of the Hebei Spirit

 accident reporting  Comments Off on Skuld Reveals Fighting Spirit of the Hebei Spirit
Dec 212008
 

Shock at the disgraceful imprisonment of the master and chief officer of the Hebei Spirit by a Korean kangaroo court has over shadowed other parts of the story of one of the worst oil spill of recent years. What was going on out of the glare of media cover? P&I club Skuld’s recent issue of Beacon carries an article by its response team that is worth the read.

Skuld, the P&I club that Hebei Spirit was, as they say in the curious language used in the maritime industry, ‘entered into’ was on site just hours after the spill of 11,000 tonnes of oil. what met its team was more that sight. Says the Beacon article:

“It was the smell that got to us,” observed Paul Bo Lange, Skuld’s Head of Loss Prevention & Risk Management, based in the Skuld head office in Oslo. “Suddenly, even though we still had seven kilometres to go on our trip to the coast on that first morning after the incident, there was already the overwhelming smell of oil. Despite many years of experience with maritime casualties, the four passengers in the car were hardly prepared for the sight that met them as their vehicle reached the Korean Taean Coastal shoreline. “At the coast you normally see a mass of blue-green broken up by white,” said Paul. “What struck us was there was only black as far as the eye could see.”

The team had the task of looking after the crew and the vessel and assessing damage as well as advising on anti-pollution measures and how to deal with the local authorities. More than 40 experts and surveyors were brough in toTaean to deal with the rapidly mounting insurance claims, covering 100,000 people totalling more than $550 million.

One important question for the Skuld team was had the master and crew of the Hebei Spirit done enough to deal with the situation they faced?’. Says the article : “The Hebei Spirit had in fact done more than could be expected of it to avoid collision when the Samsung-owned crane barge rammed the Hebei Spirit after the barge’s tow line snapped and parted.”

The article was written after the master and chief officer had been cleared of all charges but were still in detention as the powers that be sought a court more amenable to passing a the guilty verdict.

Skuld’s coverage gives an insider’s view on what happens when such massive pollution events demand rapid and effective clean-up.

All that’s left now is for the Korean judiciary to get its act clean and everyone will be happy.

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