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P&I club warns over nickel ore liquefaction from Philippines cargoes

P&I club warns over nickel ore liquefaction from Philippines cargoes
The West of England P&I Club is warning on nickel ore liquefaction from cargoes loaded in the southern Philippines following a severe list a Malaysian Bulk Carriers (MBC) vessel on Friday that left one seafarer dead.

In a circular to members the club said that two vessels, including MBC’s Alam Manis, had experienced nickel ore cargo liquefaction after loading in Surigao in the Philippines.

The liquefaction of nickel ore and bauxite cargoes has claimed the lives of seafarers in recent years, mainly on vessels trading between Indonesia or the Philippines and China.

“Club correspondents Pandiman, Manila have advised that nickel ore from Surigao and Dinagat has a particularly high clay content. Samples may appear to be satisfactory when subjected to a ‘can’ test but may prove to be unsafe when sent to an independent laboratory for testing,” West of England P&I said.

“In order to comply with the provisions of the IMSBC Code the moisture content of the material must be less than the TML (Transportable Moisture Content) which can only be determined by testing the product in a laboratory.”

The club said that in addition to appointing a cargo surveyor when loading at Surigao as is required under its rules, cargoes be tested at an independent laboratory irrespective of cargo declarations and test certificates from shippers.

It is currently the monsoon season in the Philippines increasing problems with liquefaction. Seatrade Maritime News understands surveyors in the Southern Philippines who reject cargoes where the moisture content is too high face being threatened by shippers.