In my previous post, we have discussed about pre-bunkering preparation and bunkering operation in particular and the described procedure applies in every port where the vessel intend to bunker. However, there are some specific requirements with regard to oil transfer onboard vessels and US authorities issue a set of rules that must be followed if the vessel intends to bunker in any of US ports.
The Master of the vessel must notify the port authority of the intention to bunker well in advance, stating the location, type of bunker, oil to be transshipped, and the expected time of bunkering.
C/E will hold a meeting with all ship’s staff who will be involved with or responsible during bunkering on a bunkering plan at least 24 hours prior to bunkering operations, where the following will be discussed and agreed upon:
- Roles and responsibilities specific to assigned task of each individual
- Tanks that will be made available for bunkering
- Plan on extent of filling of each tanks
- Valves to be lined up for the operations
- Closing of scuppers on deck
- Communications between supply vessel and receiving vessel
- Flow rate
- Frequency of checking tank soundings
- Spill response
The above is intended as a guide and does not exclude any other possible scenarios that the C/E and his engine room staff would like to implement.
Pre-bunkering Check list is to be filled in for compliance. All check lists are to be maintained on board at least for a minimum period of two years from date of bunkering or as per company management system instructions.
As mentioned in my previous post (which can be found in here) before bunkering begins, the Chief Engineer must double-check all details on the delivery papers as presented by the barge supplier’s representative to ensure that the bunkers delivered match the quantity and specifications stated in the prior Bunker Confirmation message.
Chief engineer and his / her designated engineers shall verify that the following is also complied with prior to commencement of bunkering.
- All self closing devices on sounding pipes operate correctly and easily, and closed after use.
- Prior to bunkering air pipes from all tanks are in order. This includes checking that the safety gauze is not blocked with paint thus reducing the air flow. Where Press/Vac valves are fitted, they shall be checked for free movement.
- Heavy fuel oil vapours are measured for Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), preferably on board the barge. The acceptance level of H2S in the tank atmosphere is up to 200 ppm. If H2S in the tank
atmosphere is found in excess of 200 PPM, the fuel should be rejected and the parties in barge of vessel’s bunker supply notified accordingly. About H2S will discuss on a later post.
Apart from above, below there is a summary description of the USCG requirements pertaining oil transfer operations.
For whoever is interested the code can be found in here.
As per USCG 33 CFR 156.120 Requirements for transfer a transfer is considered to begin when the person in charge on the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge on the receiving facility or vessel first meet to begin completing the declaration of inspection, as required by §156.150 of this part. Therefore, no person shall conduct an oil or hazardous material transfer operation unless:
- The vessel’s moorings are strong enough to hold during all expected conditions of surge, current, and weather and are long enough to allow adjustment for changes in
draft, drift, and tide during the transfer operation;
- Transfer hoses and loading arms are long enough to allow the vessel to move to the limits of its moorings without placing strain on the hose, loading arm, or transfer piping
- Each hose is supported to prevent kinking or other damage to the hose and strain on its coupling.
- Each part of the transfer system is aligned to allow the flow of oil or hazardous material;
- Each part of the transfer system not necessary for the transfer operation is securely blanked or shut off;
- The end of each hose and loading arm that is not connected for the transfer of oil or hazardous material is blanked off using the closure devices required by §§154.520 and
155.805 of this chapter;
- The transfer system is attached to a fixed connection on the vessel and the facility except that when a vessel is receiving fuel, an automatic back pressure shutoff nozzle may be used;
- Each overboard discharge or sea suction valve that is connected to the vessel’s transfer or cargo tank system is sealed or lashed in the closed position; except when used to receive or discharge ballast in compliance with 33 CFR Part 157;
- Each transfer hose has no unrepaired loose covers, kinks, bulges, soft spots, or any other defect which would permit the discharge of oil or hazardous material through the
hose material and no gouges, cuts, or slashes that penetrate the first layer of hose reinforcement (“reinforcement” means the strength members of the hose, consisting of
fabric, cord and/or metal);
- Each hose or loading arm in use meets §§154.500 and 154.510 of this chapter, respectively;
- Each connection meets §156.130;
- Any monitoring devices required by §154.525 of this chapter are installed and operating properly;
- The discharge containment equipment required by §154.545 of this chapter is readily accessible or deployed as applicable;
- The discharge containment required by §§154.530, 155.310, and 155.320 of this chapter, as applicable, is in place and periodically drained to provide the required capacity;
- Each drain and scupper is closed by the mechanical means required by §155.310;
- All connections in the transfer system are leak free except that a component in the transfer system, such as the packing glands of a pump, may leak at a rate that does not
exceed the capacity of the discharge containment provided during the transfer operation;
- The communications required by §§154.560 and 155.785 of this chapter are operable for the transfer operation;
- The emergency means of shutdown required by §§154.550 and 155.780 of this chapter, as applicable, is in position and operable;
- There is a person in charge on the transferring vessel or facility and the receiving vessel or facility except as otherwise authorized under §156.115;
- Each person in charge required by paragraph (s) of this section:
(a) Is at the site of the transfer operation and immediately available to the transfer personnel;
(b) Has in his or her possession a copy of the facility operations manual or vessel transfer procedures, as appropriate; and
(c) Conducts the transfer operation in accordance with the facility operations manual or vessel transfer procedures, as appropriate;
- The personnel required, under the facility operations manual and the vessel transfer procedures, to conduct the transfer operation:
(a) Are on duty; and
(b) Conduct the transfer operation in accordance with the facility operations manual or vessel transfer procedures, as appropriate;
- At least one person is at the site of the transfer operation who fluently speaks the language or languages spoken by both persons in charge;
- The person in charge of the transfer on the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge of it on the receiving vessel or facility have held a conference, to ensure
that each person in charge understands:
(a) The identity of the product to be transferred;
(b) The sequence of transfer operations;
(c) The transfer rate;
(d) The name or title and location of each person participating in the transfer operation;
(e) Details of the transferring and receiving systems including procedures to ensure that the transfer pressure does not exceed the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) for each hose assembly, loading arm and/or transfer pipe system;
(f) Critical stages of the transfer operation;
(g) Federal, state, and local rules that apply to the transfer of oil or hazardous material;
(h) Emergency procedures;
(i) Discharge containment procedures;
(j) Discharge reporting procedures;
(k) Watch or shift arrangement;
(l) Transfer shutdown procedures; and,
(m) If the persons use radios, a predetermined frequency for communications during the transfer, agreed upon by both.
(n) The person in charge of transfer operations on the transferring vessel or facility and the person in charge of transfer operations on the receiving vessel or facility agree to
begin the transfer operation;
As per USCG 33 CFR – 156.125 Discharge cleanups the following should be taken into account:
- Each person conducting the transfer operation shall stop the transfer operation whenever oil or hazardous material from any source is discharged:
(a) In the transfer operation work area; or
(b) Into the water or upon the adjoining shoreline in the transfer area.
- Except as permitted under paragraph (c) of this section, no person may resume the transfer operation after it has been stopped under paragraph (a) of this section, unless:
(a) Oil or hazardous material discharged in the transfer operation work area is cleaned up; and
(b) Oil or hazardous material discharged into the water or upon the adjoining shoreline is cleaned up, or is contained and being cleaned up.
- The COTP may authorize resuming the transfer operation if it is deemed appropriate.
USCG 33 CFR – 156.130 Connections
- Each person who makes a connection for transfer operations shall:
(a) Use suitable material in joints and couplings to ensure a leak-free seal;
(b) Use a bolt in at least every other hole, and in no case less than four bolts, in each temporary bolted connection that uses a flange that meets American National Standards
Institute (ANSI) standard flange requirements under §154.500(d)(2) of this chapter;
(c) Use a bolt in each hole in each temporary bolted connection that uses a flange other than one that meets ANSI standards;
(d) Use a bolt in each hole of each permanently connected flange;
(e) Use bolts of the correct size in each bolted connection; and
(f) Tighten each bolt and nut uniformly to distribute the load and sufficiently to ensure a leak free seal.
- A person who makes a connection for transfer operations must not use any bolt that shows signs of strain or is elongated or deteriorated.
- Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, no person may use a connection for transfer operations unless it is
- A bolted or full threaded connection; or
- A quick-connect coupling acceptable to the Commandant.
- No person may transfer oil or hazardous material to a vessel that has a fill pipe for which containment cannot practically be provided unless an automatic back pressure shutoff nozzle is used.
USCG 33 CFR 156.150 Declaration of inspection
- No person may transfer oil or hazardous material to or from a vessel unless each person in charge, designated under §§154.710 and 155.700 of this chapter, has filled out
and signed the declaration of inspection form described in paragraph (c) of this section.
- No person in charge may sign the declaration of inspection unless he or she has determined by inspection, and indicated by initialing in the appropriate space on the declaration of inspection form, that the facility or vessel, as appropriate, meets §156.120.
- The declaration of inspection may be in any form but must contain at least:
- The name or other identification of the transferring vessel or facility and the receiving vessel or facility;
- The address of the facility or location of the transfer operation if not at a facility;
- The date and time the transfer operation is started;
- A list of the requirements in §156.120 with spaces on the form following each requirement for the person in charge of the vessel or facility to indicate by initialing that
the requirement is met for the transfer operation; and
- A space for the date, time of signing, signature, and title of each person in charge during transfer operations on the transferring vessel or facility and a space for the date, time of signing, signature, and title of each person in charge during transfer operations on the receiving facility or vessel certifying that all tests and inspections have been completed and that they are both ready to begin transferring product; and
- The date and time the transfer operation is completed.
- The form for the declaration of inspection may incorporate the declaration of inspection requirements under 46 CFR 35.35-30.
- The vessel and facility persons in charge shall each have a signed copy of the declaration of inspection available for inspection by the COTP during the transfer operation.
- The operators of each vessel and facility engaged in the transfer operation shall retain a signed copy of the declaration of inspection on board the vessel or at the facility for at least 1 month from the date of signature.
USCG 33 CFR 156.160 Supervision by person in charge
- No person may connect or disconnect a hose, top off a tank, or engage in any other critical procedures during the transfer operation unless the person in charge, required by §156.120(s), supervises that procedure.
- No person may start the flow of oil or hazardous material to or from a vessel unless instructed to do so by either person in charge.
- No person may transfer oil or hazardous material to or from a vessel unless each person in charge is in the immediate vicinity and immediately available to the transfer personnel.
In addition, for vessels entering the North American ECA, should notify all relevant authorities in cases of fuels that does not reach the sulphur requirements of the ECA. This should be done in any of the following cases:
- BDN is non-compliant
- BDN is compliant, but post-test analysis is non-compliant
- Compliant fuel is not available.
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