There has not been much new information on the 'Vale Beijing' , with the exception last week of the Chinese Shipowners Association playing the 'oily penguin' card and claiming that the ships are unsafe and an environmental hazard. Not a great vote of confidence by the Chinese Shipowners Association in the Chinese shipbuilding industry considering that 20 of the Vale fleet are built in Chinese yards.
Some new information which may have inadvertently been picked up by web crawler are the details of the Condition of Class imposed by DNV on Vale Beijing. A Condition of Class is a defect notice which describes the problem and what needs to be done to repair or rectify and in what timeframe. This is no longer on DNV's public website, indicating it may been removed from public view. The shorthand has explanatory notes square-bracketed:-
DNV Class Records for Vale Beijing
[Condition of Class Status] Overdue
CC 1 [Condition of Class No.1]
[Date and Office imposing the CoC] 2011-12-05, Rio de Janeiro
[Date of Expiry of the Condition of Class] 2011-12-10
#7 Port & Starboard Side WBT All six heavily buckled / fractured web frames, deformed / cracked side shell plating and distorted / cracked longitudinal stiffeners to be repaired / renewed. An action and repair plan is to be submitted / agreed including proposed sailing / towing condition, repair location (berth and/or anchorage) and loading condition before leaving São Marcos Bay, Ponta da Madeira Anchorage Area 6. Vessel to be assisted by tugs at anchorage area.
Photo of an unrelated VLOC under construction, showing the oval web frames (buff colour) either side of the cargo hold (grey colour)
Web frames are the oval steel structures between the ship's outer hull and cargo hold. On a VLOC like Vale Beijing, each web frame will be about 25 metres in height and about 15 metres wide (or deep). The CoC reports that the six web frames either side of No.7 Cargo Hold are heavily buckled along with the longitudinal stiffeners. This has lead to the our hull cracking and reports of water in the cargo hold mixed with the 20,000 tonnes of cargo reported as loaded in that hold.
The cached record of the DNV Condition of Class can be found here. Vale Beijing remains at anchor at Ponta de Madeira.
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