IACS sets design for bulk carriers
WONG JOON SAN
Shipowners ordering bulk carriers now must ensure the shipyard provides a design that meets International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) unified requirements.
Lloyd's Register of Shipping's principal surveyor for technical advisory services, John McKay, said all shipping class societies would adopt IACS requirements for new ships, which became effective last Wednesday.
'Lloyd's Register's rules ensure that the bulk carrier will comply with the IACS requirements for new ships as these were incorporated into the rules on January 1, 1997,' he said.
Classification societies are offering compliance with the new requirements as an owner's extra for which the shipyard also will charge an extra fee.
Mr McKay, who is based in Hong Kong, said owners of existing bulk carriers must meet the retrospective requirements for No 1 holds to provide sufficient strength to withstand flooding.
Depending on the size of the ship, configuration and scantlings of the bulkhead and double bottom, and the condition of the structure, a reinforcement and/or renewal programme would be necessary.
Coupled with this were changes in the market for bulk carriers of various sizes and ages, he said.
'It becomes increasingly difficult to find charters for older bulk carriers, and a number of charterers are showing a preference for ships under 15 years of age,' Mr McKay said.
Lloyd's Register was advising owners of their options. In most cases, the options proposed depended on the condition of the bulkhead.
'The ultimate choices rest with the owner,' he said.
Lloyd's Register had put in place both rules for new bulk carriers and provisional rules for existing bulk carriers that covered the IACS requirements to ensure the continued integrity of bulk carrier structures.
In a paper to a recent conference, Mr McKay also outlined bulk carrier losses that prompted the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), IACS and Lloyd's Register to develop structural requirements, damage scenarios that caused flooding, the specifics of the legislation for new and existing ships, bulk carrier loading, and structural requirements and their application to new ships.
Mr McKay said bulk carrier owners were faced with retrospective structural requirements for existing bulk carriers and additional costs for newbuildings because of the mandatory IMO legislation and application of IACS structural requirements.