IMO's Sub-committee on Fire Protection (FP 52) - Inert gas for new ships

The IMO's Sub-committee on Fire Protection (FP 52) considered this week measures for newbuildings to prevent explosions on oil and chemical tankers transporting low flash point cargoes, i.e. an extension of the current inert gas regulations to newbuildings, which are currently exempted from the inert gas requirements.

When the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 83) agreed to include this matter on the IMO work programme, it was decided first to consider measures for new ships, and then, depending on the outcome, to consider their extension to include appropriate measures for existing oil and chemical tankers (see Weekly NEWS No. 41 of 12 October 2007).

The FP Sub-committee will conclude its work and report on its discussions by the end of this week. However, as we go to press, FP 52 had agreed that, due to the limited number of proposals regarding measures to prevent explosions on oil and chemical tankers, and since it did not have sufficient data to be able to fully decide upon the matter, it would invite IMO Member States and Non-Governmental Organisations to submit  further data and proposals for measures to prevent explosions on oil and chemical tankers to its next session in January 2009.

INTERTANKO attended FP 52 and expressed support for further investigation into the application of the ‘property-based approach’ (i.e. an approach based on cargo properties) and a review of the relevant parts of SOLAS, to see how this principle could be incorporated for new tankers without diminishing the existing requirements for inert gas systems.

Contact: Howard Snaith or Fredrik Larsson