Rollin' Coal

I wish someone would venture an explanation for all this soot. I understand that Infinity 1 was seriously distressed, but I don’t understand how taking a vacation from Annex vi is helping. Educated speculation, rumor, and direct knowledge is invited.

http://gcaptain.com/cracked-asphalt-tanker-saved-off-india/

According to Marine Traffic, she was built in 1993, is flagged in Panama, and may not have been well maintained over the last 23 years. Given the circumstances, there could be some overloading going on too.

She trades with India, I think. Wouldn’t Indian port state control have said something if she belched this much dirt on the regular? I’ve never been to India, or dealt with their port people, but my 2nd hand understanding is that they have a strong belief that rules are rules.

[QUOTE=catherder;187296] Given the circumstances, there could be some overloading going on too.[/QUOTE]

It looks like they are slow steaming in order to avoid breaking the boat … they may have a generator working hard to keep pumps running.

[QUOTE=Emrobu;187294]I wish someone would venture an explanation for all this soot. I understand that Infinity 1 was seriously distressed, but I don’t understand how taking a vacation from Annex vi is helping. Educated speculation, rumor, and direct knowledge is invited.

http://gcaptain.com/cracked-asphalt-tanker-saved-off-india/[/QUOTE]

Maybe they are using from their cargo to fuel the ship?

[QUOTE=ombugge;187320]Maybe they are using from their cargo to fuel the ship?[/QUOTE]

Is it possible? I would have thought that it would take too much energy to heat asphalt up enough for it to go through the injectors. Or maybe it is shipped already at a nearly high enough temperature?

[QUOTE=Emrobu;187330]Is it possible? [/QUOTE]

Do you realize how much effort goes into eliminating asphaltenes (and vanadium in which asphalt is rich) from marine diesel fuels? Considering the temperature required to use the stuff in a boiler designed for it is over 500*F it is not really a consideration except for some refinery heating/power plants.

Just because the hull cracked is no reason to burn the cargo for fuel in any event, even if it were fit for fuel and it was possible to pipe it into the fuel system.

I have to learn to notify every time I make a joke from now on.

No, I don’t think it is possible to use Asphalt as fuel for the M/Eng., but possibly on the boilers.

In the “good old days” it was not unusual for tankers to have a bend that fitted from the cargo manifold to the bunker intake. (Popularly know as a “Greek Bend”) In 1972-73 I was Master on an ex Greek “Dirty Tanker” with one permanently installed.
We traded Heavy Fuel, so a few tons may have evaporated on the voyage, but some were known to use Crude Oil from the cargo on their boilers.

One tanker exploded at a shipyard in Singapore because what had been declared as Bunker C was actually Crude: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyros_disaster
What it doesn’t say here is that the last cargo had been heavy Brunei Crude that had been “gassed up” to make it lighter.

As for why the heavy smoke; could it be from the boiler, not the M/Eng.??
With a cargo of Asphalt in the tanks they would be trying to heat the cargo to where it was pumpable when experiencing a problem like this.

[QUOTE=ombugge;187340]I have to learn to notify every time I make a joke from now on.[/QUOTE]

Norwegian humor is like brown cheese: you’re tempted to think its a joke, but you’re never quite sure.

One tanker exploded at a shipyard in Singapore because what had been declared as Bunker C was actually Crude: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyros_disaster
What it doesn’t say here is that the last cargo had been heavy Brunei Crude that had been “gassed up” to make it lighter.

I hadn’t heard of this one. “Safety practices were ignored.” Seems like an understatement. Do you reckon that the STCW convention and ISM code have prevented this kind of accident from happening again? It seems like the sort of thing that ship-breakers would be vulnerable to, and despite Maersk’s ‘responsible recycling’ noises, I don’t have confidence that those workers are being looked out for.

With a cargo of Asphalt in the tanks they would be trying to heat the cargo to where it was pumpable when experiencing a problem like this.

According to one of my instructors (former Master of chemical tankers), these very heavy petrocargos are always kept hot enough to flow. He said that if the cargo is allowed to solidify, it cannot be warmed up by the steam coils, because they will only melt the cargo which is really proximal to the coils, and leave most of the hold frozen up. Accurate?

[QUOTE=ombugge;187340]I have to learn to notify every time I make a joke from now on.[/QUOTE]

I thought it was a joke. No notification required.

Trust your instinct.

I hadn’t heard of this one. “Safety practices were ignored.” Seems like an understatement. Do you reckon that the STCW convention and ISM code have prevented this kind of accident from happening again? It seems like the sort of thing that ship-breakers would be vulnerable to, and despite Maersk’s ‘responsible recycling’ noises, I don’t have confidence that those workers are being looked out for.

This was in 1978. STCW and ISM hadn’t been invented yet. We had to think for ourselves, but not everybody did enough of it.

According to one of my instructors (former Master of chemical tankers), these very heavy petrocargos are always kept hot enough to flow. He said that if the cargo is allowed to solidify, it cannot be warmed up by the steam coils, because they will only melt the cargo which is really proximal to the coils, and leave most of the hold frozen up. Accurate?

Heavy Fuel/ Waxy Crude are sometime allowed to cool a bit, but not to where it becomes totally unpumpable.
There is usually an agreed delivery temperature, to which it has to be heated for discharge. A few degrees makes a difference to the fuel consumption on a long voyage, though.

We had BIG problem with lumps of very waxy Minas Crude for months after a boiler fault incident on a voyage from Dumai to Japan. We were unable to maintain sufficient heating, causing the cargo to coagulated in a few tanks. The residue had to be manually shoveled out, but it took time to clear the pipes.
This was on an old tanker were only the M/Eng. was Diesel, everything else steam, incl. generators, steering gear and pumps in the Engine room. (Built UK 1950 for London Greek Owners)

I was talking to an instructor today. He had been a mate on an asphalt carrier on the lakes. He thought maybe the soot only meant that Infinity 1 was in an unregulated zone. He was more concerned about what happens if sea water contacts the hot inner hull adjacent to the cargo. I think I’m going to have nightmares.

[QUOTE=ombugge;187340]I have to learn to notify every time I make a joke from now on.

No, I don’t think it is possible to use Asphalt as fuel for the M/Eng., but possibly on the boilers.

In the “good old days” it was not unusual for tankers to have a bend that fitted from the cargo manifold to the bunker intake. (Popularly know as a “Greek Bend”) In 1972-73 I was Master on an ex Greek “Dirty Tanker” with one permanently installed.
We traded Heavy Fuel, so a few tons may have evaporated on the voyage, but some were known to use Crude Oil from the cargo on their boilers.

One tanker exploded at a shipyard in Singapore because what had been declared as Bunker C was actually Crude: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyros_disaster
What it doesn’t say here is that the last cargo had been heavy Brunei Crude that had been “gassed up” to make it lighter.

As for why the heavy smoke; could it be from the boiler, not the M/Eng.??
With a cargo of Asphalt in the tanks they would be trying to heat the cargo to where it was pumpable when experiencing a problem like this.[/QUOTE]

I recall back in the 80s, or maybe as late as the 90s, one or two Greek tankers getting busted in Lake Charles for burning the cargo as fuel. . .

“Greek Bend”. Thanks for that amusing tidbit of nautical lore. Less nefarious and much more creative than the Magic Pipe, for sure. Interestingly, I believe that the dearly-departed US-flagged Energy Transport LNG tankers of the 1980’s used evaporated gas as a significant component of their propulsion fuel, albeit by contract with all parties’ consent.

the energy enterprise etc burnt coal, cargo coal! I believe they were set up to burn oil as well though.

[QUOTE=Hove2;187558]Interestingly, I believe that the dearly-departed US-flagged Energy Transport LNG tankers of the 1980’s used evaporated gas as a significant component of their propulsion fuel, albeit by contract with all parties’ consent.[/QUOTE]

BOG (boil-off gas). Modern LNG tankers still use it, although the latest thing is to have an onboard cryo-system to reliquify the bog that’s not used by the engine. Needs a special engine to burn bunker and LNG, though. I think it’s all very elegant. But I do have a pang: LNG needs spark ignician. I’m not a spark ignician kind of person. It seems like cheating to me.

[QUOTE=cmakin;187508]I recall back in the 80s, or maybe as late as the 90s, one or two Greek tankers getting busted in Lake Charles for burning the cargo as fuel. . .[/QUOTE]

FYI and enlightenment: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12629519.Tankers_face_disaster_by_stealing_oil_from_cargo_to_run_engines/

PS> Bear in mind that the normal BS from media uninformed about all things Maritime was also in place in 1993.

Stealing Fuel used to be pretty well know in the Barge Industry, I can remember having to give a Barge a Receipt for Fuel Transferred to them to show to the Charter (Years Ago in the Late 70’s-Early 80’s). this is something that I would never do now or anytime in the last 20 years as time as really changed with how they go after the Licensed person rather than the Office which most likely told / ordered them to do it. I also remember hearing Tankermen joking about how they had not taken fuel on in over a year.

[QUOTE=Tugs;187575]Stealing Fuel used to be pretty well know in the Barge Industry, I can remember having to give a Barge a Receipt for Fuel Transferred to them to show to the Charter (Years Ago in the Late 70’s-Early 80’s). this is something that I would never do now or anytime in the last 20 years as time as really changed with how they go after the Licensed person rather than the Office which most likely told / ordered them to do it. I also remember hearing Tankermen joking about how they had not taken fuel on in over a year.[/QUOTE]

There was a bunkering service over in Western Louisiana that got busted for having a return line installed AFTER the fuel meter, effectively reducing the fuel supplied. . . I had taken fuel from this particular company for a couple of years. . . There was always a slight discrepancy between the tank soundings and the meter and always in the favor of the bunkerer, but never enough to raise too much commotion. . . I always pointed it out to my Port Engineers, but they remained silent on the issue. It was a couple of years after I worked there that the bunkering company was busted, and the company heads were sent to prison. . .

When working for an Oilco in Indonesia we had a problem that abt. 10-15% of the fuel supplied to the company “evaporated” somewhere between supply and consumption.
This became THE major item on the agenda of the local Boss man. He spent most of his time checking Fuel Figures, or so it appeared. Every little tug, landing craft,“Seatruck” and Speedboat in use in the Delta appeared to operate on full speed 24/7.

An army of personnel were put on the case, even though we tried to explain to him that this would only add to the number of people who were shearing the pie, thus the loss got bigger. We even calculated that the cost of stopping it was larger than the cost of fuel stolen. (Until the lost quantity increased to 20-25% that is)

He then got the supplier to colour all diesel fuel delivered to the company green, which resulted in every boat, truck and generator in the Delta running on green fuel. Some may even have shown up in far away places, like Java, or even Batam and Singapore.

An attempt was made to ration the fuel supplied to each vessel/boat relative to the anticipated consumption for each task. That ended up in boats running out of fuel in the middle of critical operation and key personnel being stranded in their speedboat all over the place.

I was then tasked with holding a seminar for the Inspectors on how to detect the various methods used to siphon off the fuel at various stages of the supply chain, in the vain hope that they would start to catch the people that was doing it. They probably knew more trick then me, since many of them had worked on the tugs and landing crafts before.

Next, each of the 200 or so small tugs, landing crafts and boats in use in the Delta got fitted with GPS and tracking devices to try to calculate fuel consumption based on the actual distance traveled. This worked reasonably well for the Speedboat and to a degree for the landing crafts used to supply fuel, mud etc. to the rigs working inn the Delta, but not for the tugs that was moving barges, or assisted in rigmove of Swamp Rigs and barge etc.

We had one feasible way of controlling the actual consumption, which was to put a fuel meter on every engine on all the boats and use our newly installed tracking system to transmit the consumption directly to a computer at the base in real time. (We had two spare communication channels available)
That was scrapped as it would be too expensive and was too complicated for the boss man to understand.
So stealing went on and he change his attention to something else, corruption, which was a much bigger problem.

One little anecdote; The speedboat drivers didn’t like being tracked. They tried all kinds of tricks to avoid it.
Hiding under the small platforms dotted around the Delta was one of the first they tried, until one of them figured out (or somebody taught them?) that if they took the foil from a cigarette pack and wrapped it over the little GPS antenna they vanishes from the screen in the dispatch office.

The solution was a software update. If a boat had not been tracked for 15 min. an alarm went off and the last position of that boat would flash on the big screen. The Dispatcher would then call to check if there were any legitimate problem.

The next problem was that part of their wages were the fuel they could steal, so they were reluctant to work at all.
The Owners of the boats would not increase the pay to the drivers unless they got a little more in hire rate per boat/day. A deal had to be made, but the expats were kept well away from the process.

This reduced the fuel losses somewhat. Not the actual operating coasts of the Speedboats,however, but least it came from a different budget and some of the hordes of people engaged in checking fuel deliveries could be let go, or be reassigned to more productive jobs.

Everybody happy and life got back to normal.