DRI or Direct reduced Iron is a product which is formed by the direct reduction of Iron Ore. Due to the inherent nature of the product, when it becomes wet, significant amount of heat is generated along with the release of Hydrogen gas. Hence it is of paramount importance to have the cargo loaded and transported without coming in contact with moisture.
We, Constellation Marine surveyors were appointed to assist the Master and supervise the safe loading of Direct Reduced Iron (B) in compliance with the procedures and guidelines laid down in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code).
Prior to loading of the cargo, a hold inspection was carried out to ensure the holds were clean and dry. The cargo hold bilge wells were inspected for the presence of water and previous cargo residues. Once the cargo holds were found clean, dry and the bilges in an acceptable condition, the bilge wells were sealed. An Ultrasonic hatch sealing test of the hatch covers of all the holds was carried out to ensure weather tightness of the hatch covers and of the closing arrangements.
An inspection of the bilge valves was also carried out and the valves were sealed after the inspection. Equipment consisting of the Dehumidifier and the mechanical ventilation fans were checked and the operational switches were tagged and taped to prevent inadvertent use.
An inspection of the cargo stockpile was carried out and temperatures randomly checked. The cargo pellets were inspected for dryness and for uniformity in size.
The laying out of inert gas pipelines in the cargo holds and the placement of the thermocouple wires was continuous monitored by us.
The thermocouple wires were lead to the top of the hold and onto the main deck from an elbow in the booby hatch. The elbow was then sealed to prevent any ingress of water or leakage of the inert gas. (Please find attached photos)
The loading was carried out via a conveyor belt leading from the stockpile area and onto a remote controlled vertical chute which allowed for even distribution of the cargo in the holds. On completion of the loading the hatches were sealed, thermocouple wires were connected for temperature monitoring during the voyage and Inert gas consisting of Nitrogen was pumped into the sealed cargo holds.
The loading of DRI was safely carried out and in compliance with applicable rules and regulations.