ClassNK announces modifications to class rules of container carriers

5 January 2016 (Last Updated January 5th, 2016 18:30)

Ship classification society ClassNK has announced modifications to its rules and guidance for the survey and construction of steel ships.

Ship classification society ClassNK has announced modifications to its rules and guidance for the survey and construction of steel ships.

The modifications will also include addressing the structural strength requirements of container carriers.

The announcement is reported to have come as a response to a large container shipwreck in June 2013.

"The new rules will contribute to even safer ship building and design and we will continue devoting our effort to further improving safety in the maritime industry."

The shipwreck led to the investigative panel on large container ship safety, which included the shipbuilders, shipping enterprises and individuals befitting to the needs of the shipping industry, which tried to estimate the chances of ship casualties and undertake measures to ensure the structural safety of large container carriers.

The results of the investigation and ClassNK’s action plan were published in the investigation report included in the work structural safety of large container ships in September 2014.

This was further pursued by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) Committee on Large Container Ship Safety which issued recommendations to include injunctions in its final report in March 2015.

As an attempt to address the recommendations issued by the MLIT, ClassNK has adopted additional measures to its independent longitudinal strength requirements, keeping in view, the capacity of the ship’s hull to endure the pressure exerted by the sea waves against it and the sea water pressure and container loads.

It will involve an inclusion of propeller shaft and stern tube shaft surveys; welding procedures and related specifications.

Additionally, it will include fire safety measures in the form of fire-resistant cables and vehicle carriers transporting motor vehicles to be fuelled with compressed hydrogen or compressed natural gas.

These amendments will be incorporated to those container ships which will be built on or after 1 April 2016, three months before the application of the IACS UR S11A and S34.

ClassNK representative director and executive vice-president said: "The development and application of the container ship rule amendments reflects our firm commitment to providing the industry with the appropriate technical standards.

"The new rules will contribute to even safer ship building and design and we will continue devoting our effort to further improving safety in the maritime industry."