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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

RECOMMENDATIONS ON CARRIAGE OF CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE

After several large fires in cargo ships in the 1990s involving calcium hypochlorite, the IMO Marine Safety Committee has adopted the recommendations of the IMO Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC5) and amended the entries for calcium hypochlorite in the new version of the IMDG Code. However, the revised entries omit two important points.

GARD Services AS informs in its Circular No. 7/2000 that after several large fires in cargo ships in the 1990s involving calcium hypochlorite, the IMO Marine Safety Committee has adopted the recommendations of the IMO Sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC5) and amended the entries for calcium hypochlorite in the new version of the IMDG Code.  However, the revised entries omit two important points. Full-scale tests performed by the International Group on calcium hypochlorite indicate that larger packages can develop a critical condition at temperatures which can be encountered in the cargo holds of modern container vessels. Furthermore, if calcium hypochlorite develops a critical condition (for any reason) it will emit chlorine gas, which is toxic, and the runaway reaction will develop extreme heat that will ignite surrounding cargoes.

Consequently, the International Group recommends that members involved in the shipment of calcium hypochlorite products should, in addition to the new requirements of the IMDG Code, ensure that cargo transport units are stowed “Clear of Living Quarters” and that the size of the individual packages stowed in the cargo unit should not exceed 45 kg net weight per package.

Click here for the full Circular No. 7/2000 received from GARD Services AS. together with the MSC Circular urging all parties to implement the amended requirements as soon as possible.