Shipowners could also be shocked to seek out their “asbestos-free” ships will not be, in reality, asbestos-free. In response to Maritec, which supplies marine inspection, testing, certification and consultancy providers from its headquarters in Singapore, greater than 65% of all ships are working with methods and equipment containing asbestos, even ships constructed after January 1, 2011, that are prohibited by the Worldwide Conference for the Security of Life at Sea (SOLAS) to include asbestos.
Via inspections carried out between 2011 and 2020, Maritec found that greater than 55% of in-service vessels and 50% of all newbuilds include asbestos supplies.
Asbestos present in newbuilds and in most elements of ships constructed between 2002 and 2011 is an costly drawback, significantly if it’s uncovered throughout a port inspection, by which case, fines and detentions add to the price of eradicating the fabric. It may possibly additionally put seafarers and shipyard employees liable to creating respiratory diseases.
“I might say nearly all of vessels in operation include asbestos, usually via spare elements within the type of gaskets, pipe gaskets and valve packing,” says Alvin Lee, Operations Supervisor for Maritec. “A ship might depart the yard freed from asbestos however discover itself taking spare elements from nations the place both asbestos has not but been banned or the place enforcement is weak.”
Pipe flange gaskets, valve packing and parts in auxiliary equipment gear, akin to pumps, compressors, condensers and oil purifiers, accounted for greater than 63% of all of the asbestos discovered on the vessels surveyed. Different gear the place asbestos is usually discovered contains warmth exchangers, economizers, boilers and inert fuel methods.
Differing asbestos restrictions world wide compound the issue, provides Lee. “Nations don’t essentially share the identical requirements or asbestos restrictions. So, a gasket that’s labeled asbestos-free in Singapore or the US will not be thought of asbestos-free in, say, Australia, New Zealand or France.”
Maritec advises shipowners to interact an authorized skilled to completely examine their vessels for the presence of asbestos-containing supplies. If asbestos is discovered on a ship constructed after 2002 (besides when permitted in sure equipment on ships constructed earlier than 2011), it must be eliminated inside three years by a certified skilled.
As soon as executed, the inspection can function the premise for an ongoing monitoring programme.