Constellation Marine Services LLC UAE as independent marine surveyors and consultants provides Port Captaincy for DRI Shipments on behalf of Charterers, Ship Owners, P&I Clubs.
Port Captain’s responsibilities include monitoring for safety issues, supervising ship captains, scheduling maintenance, inspection duties and completion of all necessary documentation.
Direct Reduced Iron, also called Sponge Iron is produced from direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets or fines) by reducing gas produced from natural gas or coal.
The reducing gas is a mixture – the majority of which is hydrogen and carbon monoxide which act as reducing agents. The process of reducing the iron ore in solid form by reducing gases is called direct reduction.
Directly reduced iron is highly susceptible to oxidation and rusting if left unprotected. The bulk iron can also catch fire since it is pyrophoric (ignites spontaneously in air at or below 55 degrees centigrade).
Pyrophoric materials are often water – reactive as well and will ignite when they contact water or humid air. They can be handled safely in atmospheres of argon or nitrogen.
Every effort should be made to prevent the ingress of water into the cargo compartments.
Flammable gasses should be prevented from entering adjacent closed spaces.
Holds should be maintained under inert atmosphere (less than 5% oxygen and less than 1% nitrogen) throughout the voyage.
If wetting to the top level of a bulk stow occurs then this will not necessarily create a problem.
However a problem may arise if the stow is then moved for loading on to carrying vehicles or into a vessel at which time the wet material may get relocated into the middle and bottom layers.
Three types of DRI –
1) The first DRI (A) is the less reactive, high density variety of DRI that is known as Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI).
2) The second type DRI (B) is highly reactive, low density DRI in the form of lumps or pellets and cold moulded briquettes.
3) The schedule has now included DRI (C) which is described as product fines and is intended to include all the materials generated as by products.
Outlines in the code –
- The carrier’s representative is to have reasonable access to stockpiles and loading installation for inspections.
- The cargo temperatures are to be monitored during loading and recorded in a log.
- The vessel will be provided with a detector suitable for measuring hydrogen in an oxygen depleted atmosphere.
- Cargo temperatures and hydrogen concentrations in the holds are to be monitored during voyage.
- The hydrogen concentration is to be measured in holds prior to opening the hatch covers.
- The moisture content must be less than 0.3% and must be monitored.
- Any cargo that has been loaded into a cargo space and which subsequently becomes wetted shall be discharged without delay.
- Carriage is only permitted under an inert gas blanket.
Information to be obtained –
- Chemical composition of the cargo blend to be requested. The chemical composition must include the total iron content, the metallic or free iron content and the moisture content. This certificate should be from an independent testing laboratory and not a generic analysis.
- Prior to loading the cargo – the shipper shall provide the master with a certificate issued by a competent person recognized by the national administration of the port of loading stating that the cargo at the time of loading is suitable for shipment.
- Prior to loading, the cargo shall be aged for at least 30 days and a certificate confirming this should be signed by a competent person.
- Three competent authorities are recognized-a) the port state of departure-b) the port state of arrival-c) the flag state.