. “Emerald Star”, a bulk carrier (carrying Nickel ore) sank in spite of all the International Standards in place | HSE News

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“Emerald Star”, a bulk carrier (carrying Nickel ore) sank in spite of all the International Standards in place

The major reason behind the ill fate of “Emerald Star” was the 55,000 tonnes of nickel ore which was carried by the Cargo to transport it from Indonesia to Lianyungang, a Chinese port.

As per P.Krishnankutty, Professor, Department of ocean Engineering, IIT Madaras, “Under certain conditions [fine particle cargo, containing high levels of moisture], nickel ore may become like a semi-solid or liquid, in a process termed as liquefaction. Then it starts moving like liquid inside the hold [cargo area] of a ship. If the hold is partly filled in such a condition, the effect [free surface effect] on ship stability will be bad. In this context, it may be noted that liquid cargo in bulk is carried by tanker ships, which are specially designed, considering safety requirements”.

Survivors verify that the cargo sank within 10 minutes after it started from Buli in Indonesia.

“Emerald Star” has been already certified by DNV GL. A DNV spokesperson, responding on email to The Hindu, said the ship “had a clean class record at the time of the incident.” This simply means that the ship was fit structure wise as it was only 7 years old. DNV GL has already listed down 6 incidents due to nickel ore delivery in 2015 paper. The Cargo was loaded as per the Standard Operating Procedure. The paper by DNV also says that there should be an onboard test for moisture level of ship which is done be ship staff. Questions such as whether the recommended onboard tests were performed and whether the captain was under pressure to take such a cargo are still unanswered.

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