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Ship /Shore cargo connection prior operation onboard chemical tankers

Primary cargo connection between ship and shore : The connection at the manifold of hoses or metal cargo arms for cargo handling is the primary cargo connection between ship and shore, and it is essential that both parties take proper care preparing for the connection. Flange faces, gaskets and seals used at this point should be clean and in good condition. Minimum standards for hoses are laid down in the IBC Code. The hoses should be in good condition and installed with gaskets which are suitable for the chemical product to be handled.

chemical tanker navigation at sea

A bolt should be fitted in every hole, and tightened correctly and evenly. Nuts and bolts should be of the correct size and material, and damaged bolts should not be used. Improvised arrangements using G-cramps. or similar devices must not be allowed for flange connections. Care should be taken to protect manifolds from mechanical damage.

Reducers and spoolpieces should be made of suitable material compatible with the cargo, and comply with relevant industry standards.

Modern Chemical tanker cargo manifold
Fig:Modern Chemical tanker cargo manifold

Whenever it is intended to use manifold reducers or spoolpieces made of a material other than steel, their use should be agreed by the ship and terminal. When long reducers or spoolpieces are used the resulting length must be properly supported to avoid exerting excessive cantilever force.

Every manifold end should have a removable blank flange, made of steel or other approved material. Before removing a blank flange, a check should be made to ensure that the section of pipeline between the last valve and the blank does not contain cargo, possibly under pressure. Precautions must be taken to prevent any spillage.

Permanent means for the retention of any slight leakage at ship and shore connections must be provided. If leakage develops from a deck pipeline, valve, hose or metal arm, all operations through that connection should be stopped and the situation treated as an emergency until the cause has been identified and the defect remedied.

As a general rule, terminal hoses will be used for the connection between ship and shore. During connection, and when connected, flexible hoses should be suspended by suitable equipment to ensure that they are not subjected to excessive bending or liable to be crushed between the ship and the jetty.

As the tanker rises or falls as a result of tide or cargo operations, the hose strings should be adjusted so as to avoid undue strain on the hoses themselves, the connections or the ship's manifold, and to ensure that the radius of curvature of the hose remains within the limits recommended by the manufacturer.

If metal cargo arms (sometimes referred to as hard arms) are used, the installation arrangements will have taken account of 'tidal range, the freeboard of the largest and smallest tankers for which the berth was designed, minimum and maximum distances that manifolds are set back from the deck edge, limited changes in horizontal position due to drift-off and ranging, and maximum and minimum spacing when operating with other arms in the bank.

These limits should be thoroughly understood by operators, and alarms for excessive range and drift regularly tested. If range or drift alarms are activated while in service all cargo transfer operations should be stopped and remedial measures taken. Mechanical loading arms should be supported in such a way that they do not put excessive force on the manifold.

Related Info:

Isolation of cargo tanks and piping systems

Controlling the atmosphere in cargo tanks with nitrogen supplied from shore

Venting of cargo tanks safety procedure

Ship to ship transfer operation

Ship/ Shore safety checklist prior cargo operation

Following reference publications provide useful guidance and international regulations for carrying hazardous chemicals at sea.

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