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Bunkering-Best-Practices

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[MUSIC PLAYING] This program is brought to you by the Pacific States British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force. The task force was formed to protect more than 56,000 miles of sensitive shoreline along the coasts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. A single oil spill can cost millions of dollars in cleanup expenses, provoke harsh regulatory responses, and increase monitoring and limits on bunkering operations. For the vessel, the most critical part and where most spills occur is in the topping off stages of the transfer. It's usually very dramatic. Even a minor amount of oil in the water can spread over a huge area and create very visual effects. Safe bunkering practices require proper procedures, safety awareness, constant attention and regular training. Safe bunkering practices protect both people and the environment. They require good communication, a well-trained crew, and compliance with local, state, federal, and international laws. Best practices for safe bunkering start with the Person In Charge, also known as the PIC. This individual must be a credentialed master, mate, engineer, or tanker man. A PIC is a Person In Charge. There's one for the receiving vessel and one for the delivering vessel, and the PICs are the two designated people who are formally on each side in charge of that vessel's transfer at that time. The first task of the PIC is to identify and share with the crew the vessels oil transfer procedures. Transfer procedures should be prominently displayed for quick and easy reference by all on board. Oil transfer procedures include the location of all pipelines, valves, vents, and overflows; the numbers and duties of those people assigned to the transfer operation; all relevant procedures before, during, and following oil transfer; detailed steps for communication among the bunkering team; steps for topping off the tanks; and steps for initiating an emergency shutdown. You have a written oil transfer procedure in the United States that's required by the port state. And then, of course, the vessel needs to follow that written procedure because that's basically a work plan of how you do the job. And that's where you want to be at maximum up there, is 300? OK. All right, do we have the red flag? [INAUDIBLE] OK, and who's your deck rover on watch? We talk about all the legalities of the transfer, making sure they have a loading plan, that way I know that they know they know what tanks they're going to. And it's not just, you know, you fill your gas tank on your car, you fill it until it stops. This a little different. We've got to gauge the tanks, make sure that we're not going passed a percentage. You're getting close to that 100% mark. The pre-loading plan should include descriptions of the tanks and their capacities, the current level and type of oil in the tanks, expected final oil level and percentage at completion, the sequence of filling, and the monitoring procedures. It's important to stress to the crew that monitoring is more than simply observing the filling procedure. It's frequently watching the tank levels and valve alignments, too. The pre-meet is a very important part of the process because that bunker team meeting-- Washington state calls it a training session, but it's really a bunker team meeting-- needs to be timely in that it's held very real close to the time of the bunkering. And that's so that people still have it fresh in their mind. What's the plan how we're doing it? What tanks, what volumes, what sequence, et cetera, and what level they're filling to-- where's their stopping point? Drip sampling at the manifold should start at the very beginning of bunker loading to the ship and continue until stoppage of loading, thus representing an average sample of the fuel loaded. Individual samples taken by this method are to be collected for each barge delivery. The PIC must emphasize if anything appears to be out of order, crew members have a responsibility to stop or shut down the bunkering operation. Everyone must know they have that ability and responsibility to stop the transfer at any time. When in doubt, shut it down. Anybody involved in the transfer can absolutely shut down a cargo transfer at any time. Obviously, the barge is paying attention to what's going on in the barge because they can't see what's going on on the ship. So any issues that they see on the barge, they would immediately shut down. Or if they see something going on up in the ship that they're not comfortable with, they would be able to shut it down. Designating transfer personnel is a key responsibility. Regulations vary, but most mariners agree that at least four individuals should devote their full time and attention to the bunkering process. The point of transfer watch must remain at the bunker manifold connection between the barge and receiving ships throughout the entire bunkering operation. It's a best practice to maintain a deck rover watch monitoring for spills. Additional crew may be needed to monitor all tank levels during topping off things or during bad weather conditions. I would say that the biggest incident is the ship, for some reason or another, overfills the tank. And they either have a deck spill, or the spill enters the water. I would say that's the number one incident. Usually, it's when they go to different tanks. Sometimes, they need to communicate the different rates. Slow us down, or speed us up. So I would say just the biggest incident for us that we look out for is the overfilling of the ship's tanks. All delivering vessels must pre-boom bunkering operations transferring oil at a rate over 500 gallons per minute when it is safe and effective to do so. When it is not safe and effective to pre-boom, the delivering vessel must meet the alternative measure requirements. Alternative measure requirements can be obtained from the Washington State Department of Ecology Spills Program. Oil spillages and leakages during bunkering operations are a primary source of operational spills from ships. Oil spill equipment should be ready and available in accordance with the vessel's SOPEP. It is compulsory for all ships of more than 400 gross tons to carry a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan, or a SOPEP, on board. The plan is to be seen as information from the owners to the master of a particular ship. It will advise the master how to react in case of an oil spill to prevent, or at least mitigate, negative effects on the environment. The plan contains operational aspects for various oil-spill scenarios and lists communication information to be used in case of such incidents. Crew members assigned to bunkering operations should be free of distractions during the transfer, including any other duties. Cell phone usage and other electronic distractions should be prohibited. Communications procedures range from coordinating radio frequencies to use of common hand signals and gestures. Because radios and walkie talkies may fail, basic hand signals are useful backups. Pay special attention to communications procedures in case of emergency, and stress again to crew members that they can stop the bunkering operation at any time should they observe something wrong. When in doubt, shut down. Emergency communications or an emergency shutdown needs to be a very clear part of the pre-transfer conference so both sides understand exactly what to do to have a very simple, clear, quick, and direct shutdown in the case of an emergency. Before the transfer process begins, prepare the deck and bunker manifold areas. This includes making a visual inspection of all equipment on both receiving and delivering vessels. As part of your preparation, close and secure all required hatches, doors, and portholes. Seal all scuppers and drains on deck from which spilled oil may enter the water, and ensure the bunker manifold area is well lit for the sake of efficiency, safety, and maintaining crew alertness. Connect the bunker hose careful. It may still contain some oil from a previous transfer. All pipe connections, tank vents, overflow, or fill pipes must have spill containment in place. Use a new gasket for each connection, and secure bolts tightly before pumping begins. Double check the alignment of all valves, and inspect the hose itself for obvious defects. The hose should be properly supported to avoid undue strain on manifolds and rails. After the bunkering hose is attached but before any oil is transferred, the PICs from the delivering and receiving vessels must meet for a pre-transfer conference to plan the operation. The conference must be conducted in English. And if there is a language difficulty, an interpreter should be available and present throughout the entire procedure. Conduct the conference face to face. Review together the loading plans and declarations of inspection, which will need to be signed. Next, use a checklist and jointly initial key areas of agreement, including the products, sequence, and flow of the oil; key procedures and personnel who will be involved; any watch changes agreed upon; and shut down and topping off procedures. Make sure there is agreement and clear communication regarding emergency shutdown procedures. A declaration of inspection in the US is a document with certain checkpoints on it, items that need to be addressed by both persons in charge. Next to each item is an initial point for both the receiving PIC and the delivering PIC. So they initial every single item going down that list on the DOI until they get to the bottom and they've covered all the succinct points. At that time, they both sign with the date and time of the signature of the DOI. It's crucial that both bunker barge PIC and receiving ships PIC sign the DOI and are mutually clear on the conditions it certifies. The PICs should discuss any cargo operations that may be going on during the bunkering operation. Cranes moving cargo should never overhang any part of the bunkering barge while it is alongside the ship. Prior to taking bunkers, SOLAS regulations require the vessel to be provided with a Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS. This became mandatory on 1 January, 2011. The MSDS will contain information regarding the composition of the fuel, including the concentration of hydrogen sulfide, the effects of exposure to the gas, and the first aid measures to be taken in such an event. In addition, the MSDS will often include guidance on the handling and storage of the product and exposure limits for each of its component parts. Confirm tank soundings prior to starting your bunker operations-- levels, not volumes-- and ensure that all piping and valves are aligned properly to the correct things. Once PICs from both the bunker barge and receiving ship give their OKs, fuel delivery begins. Start at a slow rate to ensure the transfer is proceeding as planned. Increase rate of flow to your agreed upon maximum rate. A best practice is to take frequent soundings of all tanks throughout the bunker operation and to make sure no fuel is going into the wrong tank and to verify operation and accuracy of ship's gauging systems. In the event of benzene detection during bunkering, the advice of the ship management office is to be sought urgently. And access to areas adjacent to and downwind of the loading area and tank vents should be prohibited. The shipping company should provide equipment to monitor levels of benzene on board in the form of Draeger multigas detectors and tubes for benzene. Make sure you monitor fuel pressure on the bunker barge. High pressure could signal a blockage or improper alignment. Crewmen on the receiving ship should alert the barge crew at least five minutes before changing tanks, topping off tanks, or securing the load. Maintain constant communication and status reports between bunker barge and the receiving ship. If there is a failure to respond, shut down immediately. At the end of the bunkering operation, the PICs on both the barge and ship should check tank gauges and/or tank soundings and close all valves and tank fittings. Crews must make sure the hose is depressurized and drained back into the barge. Blank the hose connection with a new gasket, and bolt it shut after cleaning it of any surface soil and before stowing it back aboard the barge. No two bunkering operations are exactly alike. There are lessons to be learned each time oil is transferred from one vessel to another. It's useful to hold a post-bunkering meeting with the bunkering team after each operation and identify areas for continuous improvement. One of the things that's always good to do in any kind of an operation is to have a debriefing afterward, even if it's a routine operation, as bunkering is on vessels, because a debriefing gives you an opportunity to do a number of things. First of all, you can see what went well and congratulate yourselves that the system you've got in place is working. You can also identify items, either major ones or minor ones, that didn't work so well, and it gives you an opportunity to identify them, articulate them, and then find a way to address those to make them go smoother another time. Attention to continuous improvement, to detail, and procedure will make for a more efficient operation, a safer crew and vessel, and a cleaner environment. The agencies that make up the Pacific States British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force are the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, the California Department of Fish and Game, the Hawaii State Department of Health, the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Washington State Department of Ecology. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Duration: 17 minutes and 18 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: maritimetraining on Feb 8, 2017

Bunkering-Best-Practices

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