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Incinerator Advice

If you are operating vessels over 12 years old it is highly likely that your onboard incinerator does not meet the requirements of IMO resolution MEPC.76(40) which was adopted on 25th September 1997 along with amendments in 2000 and 2004 regarding the standard specifications for shipboard incinerators. Prior to 1997 incinerators were built with an operating temperature of 750 degrees C whereas the present day requirements are maximum combustion temperature of 1250 degrees and minimum of 850 degrees – these temperatures allowing for the complete burning of plastic waste. Of course once plastic is burned you are still left with the problem of disposal of the plastic ash – a much reduced volume and weight but which can result is a disposal problem since some ports refuse to take what has now become toxic waste – with all its attached disposal restrictions.

For many vessels the major use of the incinerators is the disposal of waste oil and sludge, with incinerators on many vessels operating 15 hours per day and more. Although this equipment is supposed to operate automatically and without constant supervision many vessels insist on full and continuous supervision, further reducing the effectiveness of an already small ships complement. This problem will increase as the quality of heavy fuel oils continue to decrease – witness in the general increase in the cat fines one is experiencing when bunkering.

For tankers with excessive waste oil and sludge they may be able, under certain conditions, to pump some of this to the cargo slop tank. Not all tankers will be able to do this and to ensure no mistakes are made they need to refer to the individual ships IOPP certificate. Section 3 of this cert will indicate whether or not this is permitted.

To Recap:

The majority of vessels over 12 years old will not be able to use their onboard incinerator effectively – the operating temperature being too low to allow the burning of plastics and too small to dispose of the increasing quantities of onboard waste oil and sludge. There are several options to correct matters and we at CARMANIA can assist you in solving these problems by various means.