04 Januari 2014

[040114.EN.SEA] MOL Follows Up On Probe's Hull Stress Advice In MOL Comfort Sinking

JAPAN'S MOL has responded to government safety recommendations for large containerships, following the splitting and sinking of the MOL Comfort in June, by adjusting its ballast-water volume to reduce stress on the hulls of its ships.

MOL announced safety inspections on the outer bottom shell plates for its large containerships. It also said it had "secured twice the hull strength of the standard set by Nippon Kaiji Kyokai," or ClassNK, by reinforcing hulls of MOL Comfort's six sisterships, reported Lloyd's List.

The measures come in response to recommendations by an interim report from the Committee on Large Containership Safety, which also advised that safety inspections on the bottom shell plates of ships of 8,000 TEU or larger should be conducted to verify the presence of buckling formations.

MOL said it will focus on reducing stress on hulls by adjusting ballast water volume.

The shipping line said it also conducted inspections on the outer bottom shell plates of its containerships and found no safety problem.

The committee also advised that, in line with UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) deliberations on container weight verification, "verification of the actual weight of the container cargoes provided by the shipper is recommended".

But MOL also said: "The measures need to be taken by the maritime industry as a whole, not on MOL's own," reported American Shipper.

"This is the matter terminals and stevedore companies who do the actual cargo handling worldwide are involved in and the discussions at related international agencies such as the IMO are still under way," MOL said.

Source : HKSG.

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