Jobatsea directions recommended damage caused by sulphuric acid in coal cargoes

There have been some cases where steam washed coal gave rise to significant amounts of sulphuric acid which subsequently caused structural damage to holds and bilge systems.

Therefore we draw your attention to the IMO BC Code. In addition please ensure that the following precautions are taken.

Ask shipper if his coal is high in sulphide and if coal is likely or could possibly give rise to acidity aspect as per sound of jobatsea practice.
Ask for analysis details of coal, concentrating on moisture content degree of fires, sulphur content (obtain specifications in writing).
Look at incoming coal carefully to identify yellow crystals or staining.
Look out for any significant change in size of the coal delivered.
Look for coal 10 to 15 degrees above ambient temperature or signs of steam emissions whilst loading.
If suspicious ask for independent analysis.
Take samples of coal and any unusual coal in appearance.
Retain samples in sealed plastic containers for future reference.
If supercargo present get his name as well as names of any other attending persons involved (surveyors/stevedores, etc.).
See if washing of coal is done before loading.
Ensure holds are dry before loading.
Ensure bilges are properly sealed.
Observe bilges, check draining for acidity and take samples now and again (clean glass bottles).
Try to get sample of coal before it is loaded and if possible obtain a sample of water or wet coal of the bottom layer.
During voyage employ only surface ventilation.
Temperatures to be taken daily and recorded.
Do not enter holds.

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