ALERT Ship Repair Symposium Newcastle 1-2 September 2008

Over the past twenty years a number of ships have been lost without trace possibly (or known to have been) as a result of structural failure.


The most recent and influential high profile cases involved the tankers Erika and Prestige. The report into the loss of the Prestige by the Bahamas Maritime Authority made a number of recommendations concerning the survey, inspection and repairs of tankers. These recommendations formed the basis for a research project called Assessment of Life Cycle Effects of Repairs on Tankers – ALERT. INTERTANKO is participating in the research project with particular focus on the areas of corrosion detection and corrosion protection & monitoring of the environment in void and ballast spaces.


The ALERT work started in November 2006 and will be concluded by the end of 2008. The project partners are: Newcastle University, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, Bahamas Maritime Authority, Alpha Marine Services, Bureau Veritas, INTERTANKO, Lisnave Estaleiros Navais, S.A., Materiaal Metingen Europe BV, Hamburg University of Technology. A series of meetings have been held hosted by the various partners in their offices. A presentation of the work status was given to the IMO in October 2007.


There is no lack of knowledge, experience, rules & regulations and guidelines concerning corrosion and its effect on various types of ships, including tankers, but gaps have been identified which would be useful for further research. The INTERTANKO Safety, Technical & Environmental Committee (ISTEC) will, during its April meeting, consider further participation in a possible Phase 2 of the ALERT project, provided satisfactory funding can be obtained. More information is available in the public section on the ALERT website Unfortunately, in accordance with the research contract, the full ALERT report will not be publicly available for some time to come.


There will be a conference 1-2 September 2008 at Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. The first announcement and call for papers is available on the ALERT website in the public section. The idea is that there will be four papers covering the ALERT work packages, and it is hoped that another 10–15 papers will come from other interested parties. INTERTANKO appeals to its members to consider the call and also forward the call for papers to their contacts to make the conference a relevant, useful and successful event. It is hoped that there will be many interesting papers in addition to the 4 ALERT papers and broad conference participation from the industry.


Contact: Bjarne Thygesen (