Marine Safety Forum issues Safety Flash about pumping of dry powderNews // July 8, 2005
Many supply vessels working in the European Continental Shelf and others operating further afield are fitted with high pressure (5.5 Bar/79psi) dry powder discharge systems that are generally assisted and supplemented with high pressure purge air to keepproduct flow in the discharge pipeline system.
"It is not considered good practice to reset HP systems in order that they can interface with the parameters of low pressure systems (2.5 Bar)," said the Forum.
"It is strongly recommended that Offshore Support Vessels discontinue discharging dry bulk to quayside road tankers as tanks on these vehicles are only capable of receiving product from low pressure systems and could be subject to catastrophic failure ifa build-up of pressure took place beyond the capability of the vehicle pressure-relief systems."
"It is further recommended that OSVs should, in general, only discharge returned dry bulk to fixed shore silos and when that method is not available, the product should be sucked out using the turbo-vac method provided its is safe for the tanker operators to do so," said the Forum.
"In any event a proper Risk Assessment relating to the activity should be carried out that identifies and mitigates all the inherent risks and a Permit to Work for the activity should be available where there are critical interfaces with shore based personnel and equipment. To minimise potential of such a high risk event taking place the importance of good communications and careful forward planning cannot be overstressed. Installation personnel should endeavour to ensure they have sufficient capacity for the full bulk powder product ordered, thus minimising the likelihood of bulkcargo having to be discharged from the vessel to shore based reception facilities."