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Petcoke loading in bulk & associated problems for bulk carriers

Petcoke is short for petroleum coke, which is a byproduct of the oil refinery coking process that produces low-cost fuel, often with a high sulphur content. Petcoke may also be known as green delayed coke, sponge coke, needle coke, delayed coke or raw coke-fuel grade.



Black, finely divided residue from petroleum refining in the form of powder and small pieces. The provisions of this schedule should not apply to materials having a temperature below 55 degree C when loaded

Petcoke Characteristics :
Bulk density ( Kg/m3) 599 to 800
Stowage Factor (m3/t) = 1.25 to 1.67


Consideration prior loading



Petcoke Loading Port: New Orlean, USA : Port Elizabeth
Discharging port: Huasco, Chile: Qinzhou , China


Petcoke loading guideline

1. When the cargo is loaded in a cargo space over a tank containing fuel or other material having a flashpoint under 93 degree C, the cargo having a temperature of 55 degree C or higher shall not be loaded in the cargo space, unless part of the cargo having a temperature 44 degree C or lower is loaded in lawyer of at least 0.6 m thickness throughout the cargo space prior to load the cargo having a temperature of 55 degree C or higher.

2. When the cargo having a temperature of 55 degree C or higher is loaded in accordance with the above requirement and thickness of the layer of the cargo to be loaded is bigger than 1.0 m the cargo shall first be loaded within a layer, the thickness of which is between 0.6 m and 1.0 m

3. After completion of loading operation specified in the above paragraphs, the loading operation may proceed.

Trim in accordance with the relevant provisions required under section 4 and 5 of the IMSBC code. As the density of the cargo is extremely high, the tank top may be overstressed unless the cargo is evenly spread across the tank top to equalize the weight distribution. Due to consideration shall be paid to ensure that the tank top is not overstressed during voyage and during loading by a pile of the cargo.


Petcoke - possible problems when washing holds

The MARPOL Convention exists to prevent pollution of the worlds oceans by ships and to protect the marine environment. Petroleum coke (petcoke), is a solid material 95% carbon, wholly insoluble in water and contains no oil in liquid form. Petcoke appears in the 'Gesamp/EHS.* Composite list of Hazard Profiles' which is published by the IMO. This states that it has no bioaccumulative effects, is non hazardous to marine organisms and humans (oral intake or skin, eye contact or inhalation). Finally petcoke does not reduce the value of amenities (eg if petcoke is washed ashore after a discharge the beach does not need to be closed due to hazardous effects). This analysis is obviously not applicable to petcoke dust where it can be hazardous to humans.

Due to the existence of aerial surveillance, especially over european waters, it can be expected that patches of 'discoloured water' will be readily observed, leading to the arrest of errant ships. Owners and Masters must be most cautious in their assessment of the environmental consequences of discharging hold washings at sea under MARPOL regulations. It must also be remembered that disposal at sea within 'Special Areas' is forbidden, these include the Gulf of Mexico, The Caribbean and european waters including all Economic Exclusion Zones (EEZ).



Read more on Petcoak loading & Hold cleaning requirements



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Our detail pages illustrated many safety aspects of Bulk carrier

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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea. Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

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