Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 08

27 Jan 2021
Author: Mr. Kiran Thorat & Dr. Anand Hiremath

Cleaning of oil containing tanks onboard ships at HKC compliant Ship Recycling Facilities 

Vessels are constructed with multiple tanks to store lube oils, fuel oils, and sludge. When a vessel is prepared for recycling, the minimum amounts of these oils are kept onboard. When the vessel is delivered to the recycling facility, it contains varying amounts of these oils, although in small quantities in different tanks. Before cutting permission is issued to the vessel, the remaining oils must be removed from the respective tanks as per GMB. Fuel oils and lube oils are sold to subcontractors for further treatment and reuse. The oils are transferred by portable pumps so that minimum unpumpable quantities remain in the tanks. The remaining oil is removed manually by draining the tanks. The oil spill containment kit is always kept on standby during the oil transfer and cleaning. All precautions are taken while performing man entry to these tanks. Thorough ventilation is carried out, and the atmosphere is checked with gas meters by a safety officer to check for adequate oxygen (20.9%) and the absence of combustible/hazardous gases. The enclosed space permits are filled to eliminate any errors. The workers use adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in tank entry. The unpumpable oil is manually collected, and tanks are internally cleaned.

ship-recycling-oil-containing-tank


Finally, sand is used to absorb the stains of oils from the internal tank surfaces. The oil-drenched sand is collected in HDPE bags, and bags are handed over to Gujarat Enviro Protection and Infra Ltd. (GEPIL). Adequate infrastructure is developed at GEPIL facilities to dispose of the sand in an environmentally friendly way. The use of sand ensures that oil is completely removed, and ventilation ensures tanks are completely gas-free. Furthermore, the application of sand ensures that the tank is not reused for any purpose. The yard owners have developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for preparing vessels gas-free for hot work. The cutting permission is issued after the vessel is made gas-free for hot work.

Contact Us

Ship Recycling Team

About Author

Kiran Thorat is a Sustainable Ship & Offshore Recycling Executive at GMS, where he looks after sustainable ship recycling projects. Kiran believes that Sustainable Recycling is an integral part of Sustainable Shipping and a notable example of a circular economy. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Marine Engineering and Research Institute (DMET), India, and a Master's Degree in Energy, Trade, and Finance from Cass Business School, London.

Dr. Anand M. Hiremath is a Civil Engineer and holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), India. He was awarded Doctorate Degree in the year 2016 for his research work on Ship Recycling by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), India. In addition, he has a diploma in Industrial safety, is a qualified lead auditor for ISO 9k, 14k and 18k. Dr. Hiremath published the first practical handbook on ship recycling, entitled: "The Green Handbook: A Practical Checklist to Monitor the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships" which highlights the procedures the GMS RSRP follows to help both Ship and Yard Owners recycle a vessel in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Contact Us

Ship Recycling Team