Thursday, November 26, 2015

Large Container Ship Classification Regulations Changed After Vessel and Cargo Lost

Lessons Taken from Tragedy
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – WORLDWIDE – The ClassNK Technical Committee has released draft amendments to its rules and guidance for container carriers, based on the recommendations of the reports and investigations of the container ship MOL Comfort, which split in half, caught fire and subsequently sank, two years ago with the loss of her cargo.

In response to the incident in June 2013, ClassNK established the Investigative Panel on Large Container Ship Safety, which comprised of shipbuilders, shipping companies, and stakeholders with relevant knowledge and experience, to investigate the possibility of further casualties occurring and study the structural safety of large container carriers. The results from the investigation and ClassNK’s action plan were released in the Investigation Report on Structural Safety of Large Container Ships in September 2014.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Committee on Large Container Ship Safety released recommendations of requirements for large container ships in its Final Report in March 2015, and furthermore, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) adopted the new Longitudinal Strength Standard for Container Ships (Unified Requirement S11A) and Functional Requirements on Load Cases for Strength Assessment of Container Ships by Finite Element Analysis (Unified Requirement S34).

Based on the IACS UR S11A and S34, and the reports released by ClassNK and Japan’s MLIT, ClassNK drafted amendments to its relevant rules and guidance. Requirements related to hull girder ultimate strength, consideration of the effect of lateral loads and the effect of whipping are added to the regulations, whilst requirements related to direct strength calculations and to the longitudinal strength for container ships are amended.

These changes were then submitted to and approved by the ClassNK Technical Committee, which is made up of representatives from the shipping and shipbuilding industries as well as scholars and experts to discuss matters relating to the establishment and revision of technical rules and guidance.

The amendments will come into effect after receiving approval from ClassNK’s Board of Directors. The rules are scheduled to apply to container ships contracted for construction on or after 1 April 2016, three months before the application of the IACS UR S11A and S34.

Photo: The bows of the MOL Comfort blaze as she heads into the wind.