ClassNK’s global push for market share saw it establish two new Survey Operations Headquarters in Germany and North America last year which,
together with its head office in Tokyo, offer 24-hour coverage of
survey enquiries on a global basis, as well as rapid responses
when dealing directly with clients and flag state administrations.
“We also operate five Plan Approval Centres in the world’s
major shipbuilding regions - Korea, China,Turkey, India and
Singapore — in addition to our head office,” said Nakamura.
“This means that we can cooperate directly, greatly improving
the efficiency of ClassNK-registered projects throughout the
world for the benefit of shipyards and designers, and ultimately
the owners themselves.”
Class NK has been to the fore in the reduction of risk when
it comes to the liquefaction of nickel ore, a major cause of
deaths at sea and loss of bulkers over the last decade. First the
society produced its Guidelines for Safe Carriage of Nickel Ore
which compiled the loading requirements and transport
procedures of the IMSBC code, with best practices,
precautionary measures, and recommendations for safely loading
and transporting nickel ore gleaned from onboard operators.
But ClassNK did not stop there in its bid to tackle the
dangers of liquefaction. “We began further examining the effects
on vessels, in terms of structure and stability, when loaded with
nickel ore with moisture content in excess of the transportable
moisture limit, employing extensive testing and numerical
simulations on cargo properties and the behaviour of nickel ore
with the advice and support of an independent panel of experts
over a six-month period,” explained Nakamura. “Based on this
research, we established the world’s first standards for stability,
hull strength, and other requirements necessary for vessels to
safely carry nickel ore cargos in any condition regardless of
moisture content. The results of these efforts were published in
the Second Edition of the Guidelines for the Safe Carriage of Nickel
Ore in February 2012.”
These standards were first approved by the Panama Maritime
Administration and later by a string of other flags.“The
27,000dwt open hatch bulk carrier Jules Garnier II was the
world’s first vessel built to the Specially Constructed Cargo Ship
requirements, constructed and designed by Naikai Shipbuilding
Corporation to NK-class and delivered to JX Shipping Co. Ltd
on 19 September 2012,” added Nakamura.
ClassNK has also been involved in a European Joint R&D
project called LiquefAction which it joined in September 2014.
The project aims to better understand the physical properties of
cargo liquefaction in order to prevent bulk carrier casualties and
is being carried out by a consortium of Europe’s top research institutions with support from German shipowner Oldendorff
“Building on knowledge gained from the Guidelines for the
Safe Carriage of Nickel Ore, the LiquefAction project will look
at various other cargoes covered under the IMSBC Code,” he
said. “Ship motions and the frequency range and amplitude that
cause liquefaction of a given cargo with given moisture content
over specific time periods are central areas of study within
LiquefAction, as well as modelling the phenomenon’s effect on
stability by taking into account dynamic behaviour. By
conducting further study into these factors we hope to
contribute to qualifying and quantifying preventive and mitigating
measures in ship design and operation.”
Nakamura also said owners should be aware that the IACS
Common Structural Rules for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers (CSR BC
& OT) had entered force on 1 July 2015 and applied to all bulk
carriers over 90m and oil tankers over 150m in length. “These
new rules bring new requirements for more comprehensive
structural analysis at the design stage, including FEM analyses
covering the entire range of cargo hold structures, as well as
new formulae for buckling, fatigue, and residual strength criteria
to enhance safety and reliability,” he said. “However, these new
requirements also greatly increase the overall time needed for
“In order to help lessen the burden of these news rules on
ship designers, and as part of our total ship care system aimed at
ensuring the comprehensive safety of ships throughout their
operating lives, we developed PrimeShip-HULL(HCSR), a design
support tool that makes it easy for shipyards and ship designers
to carry out rule calculations and optimize their designs.”
BV certainly has no intention of being left behind by its
ambitious class rivals, not least when it comes to helping its
partners meet the demands of the latest regulations. “Bulk
carriers represent the strongest market segment for BV's marine
business, accounting for almost 25% of total revenues,” said
Chatzitolios. “We continue to invest in this market in order to
maintain our strong position.
“In previous years we have engaged in a major campaign to
train shipyards and designers in the new Harmonized CSR and
relevant BV software tools. We have also worked with them to
examine their existing CSR designs against the new rules and to
be able to produce even more optimized designs.
“We believe that the introduction of the new CSR could
influence future demand.”
RINA revises offshore crane rules
RINA has reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to safe transshipment standards in the bulk sector by revising its rules for offshore cranes used in construction, service and demolition.
The Italy-based classification society has been a forerunner in the auditing of transhipment standards, not least through its work with designers including Logmarin. Previously this has seen the development of service notations for transshipping units and floating terminals which have been assigned to non-propelled and assisted propulsion units designed for the transhipment of dry bulks.
Building on previous rules and notations, the society has now re-based its rules for offshore cranes, splitting the requirements for specific crane types (ship, offshore and transhipping) into free-standing sections to make the rules more user-friendly.
For example, the new RINA rules for transhipment cranes provide a specific notation — CARGO HANDLING — which has already been assigned to the floating crane transshipment unit FC ASIA BELLA, built by China’s Chengxi Shipyard for the Indonesian owner Pt. Pelayaran Mitra Kaltim Samudera.
The service notation of units operating permanently anchored or moored in a fixed location is competed by the additional class notation MOORING, to attest that the mooring system is certified by RINA.
The new transhipment rules take into account both static and dynamic loads on cranes used on vessels transhipping bulk cargoes in open waters, and also detail how these are related to structural requirements for the vessel and crane.
The revised rules for offshore cranes have been based on European Standard EN 13852, which RINA said takes a different and more modern approach to commonly used offshore crane standards.
“There is a gap in the market for standards for transhipment cranes,” said Dino Cervetto, Director of Technical Services, RINA Services.
RINA’s new rules contain an operational chart which Cervetto said would allow operators of floating transhipment terminals to widen the weather window in which they can work, and also takes into account the specific wave height and orientation of the terminal.
“The new rules for transhipment cranes cover certification of cranes engaged in open sea operational use including cranes installed on storage bulk/ore carrier for transshipping operations or cranes installed on transhipment units,” he said. “The crane working envelope is defined with a matrix that correlates the wave height with the operational criteria. A table correlating maximum operational wave height and characteristics of the vessels involved in the operation will be annexed to the certification.
“The intention is to provide a structure which ensures that the cranes chosen for open sea transhipment are fit for purpose and can withstand the stresses caused by movement in multiple dimensions which are typical of open sea transshipment.
“Cranes certified under this new notation will be able to operate safely for longer and give more operational time to terminal operators without fear of breakdowns or overload conditions.
“RINA believes that there is a need in the offshore industry for a clear standard for floating cranes and cranes built onto OSVs which is based on European requirements.”
DNV GL: new market superpower
The bulk carrier sector is a key target of classification giant DNV GL, the (relatively) new superpower among classification societies which was formed in 2013 by the merger of European stalwarts DNV and GL.
DNV GL’s registered fleet amounted to 265 Million GT at the end of 2014. Of this total, bulk carriers accounted for 44.1 Million GT. In terms of vessel numbers this translated into a total fleet of 13,174 ships, 953 of which were bulk carriers.
The society would not comment on its current market share of the bulk carrier sector but So¨nke Pohl, Key Account Manager and Ship Type Expert for bulk carriers, said DNV GL was working tirelessly to diversify its dedicated bulk carrier services portfolio as part of a push to draw in more owners and operators.
“We are in close dialogue with the industry to discuss their concerns, the services they need and keep customers up to date with the latest developments and upcoming regulations, for example at our regular bulk carrier forum,” she said. “The merger between DNV and GL enabled us to combine both company’s longstanding expertise in the bulk carrier segment and increase our global reach. With 1,300 surveyors based in more than 100 countries around the globe, DNV GL can offer customers a broad set of expertise and local support.”
DNV GL has now issued its plans for new rules to more than 800 customers and stakeholders, part of an extensive external hearing process before their publication and entry into force. The rules being developed — which the society said would become its ‘signature’ and would be practical, clear, consistent and easy to use from the design stage onwards — will essentially form the basis of the
organizational strategy of the classification behemoth as it
attempts to position itself as the global maritime safety
“From the beginning of this project, we wanted these rules
to be unique in the way they reflected industry experience
and input,” said the COO of DNV GL – Maritime, Knut
Ørbeck-Nilssen, who will take on the role of CEO in August.
“So our objective has been to have our customers and
stakeholders deeply involved throughout the development
and implementation process. Already, at the recent
Nor-Shipping trade fair we signed several joint development
projects with leading yards to work together with us to
ensure the rules deliver the quality, safety and process
efficiency our customers expect.”
Once DNV GL has received feedback from its customers
and stakeholders, this input will be processed and
incorporated into the rules which will be launched and
published in October and will then enter into force on 1 January 2016.
One of the areas the rules will set new standards for the industry is on hull structure, according to Geir Dugstad,
Head of Division Classification in DNV GL – Maritime. “The
new advanced load concept is a major step towards a more
realistic representation of the environmental loads,” he said.
“Along with our state-of-the-art capacity models, this
concept will increase the consistency in the safety level
applied for the complete hull structure. In addition, this
approach will also accommodate the challenges related to
development of novel and unusual designs. They could be a
real game changer for our customers.”