Liquid bulk, don’t miss the boat

By Pieter Gysels, Marine Surveyor, DP Survey Group, IUMI Professional Partner,

Liquid bulk can be defined as liquid commodity/cargo that is transported in large quantities in unpacked form. These include a large range of liquids with a variety of properties and characteristics and can include chemicals, vegetable oil, petroleum products (crude oil and derivatives) and liquid gases.

Some liquid bulk cargoes require special precautions and preparations (such as a nitrogen blanket); or require heating or cooling; or special cleaning procedures before loading.

This is obviously a highly specialised industry and when problems occur, an experienced specialist is needed to solve the problem. As a surveying company located in the heart of the Antwerp port, DPS is regarded as experts in this sector and has experience of all relevant challenges.

The port of Antwerp is the largest European maritime (petro) chemical cluster in Europe with many large production, storage and handling companies located here. The liquid bulk segment is a very important industry in Antwerp, and it is still growing. Major petrochemical enterprises have planned massive investments. Total refinery and its logistics partner SEA-Tank Terminal are investing EUR 100 million in a capacity expansion and ATPC has invested in a new LNG/ethane tank farm. Earlier this year, INEOS, one of the world’s largest multinational chemicals companies, announced plans to invest EUR 3 billion in the further expansion of its chemical production facilities. These are only a couple of examples of planned investments at the port of Antwerp.

In our job as surveyor, we deal with off spec. cargoes, contaminations, discrepancies and other issues. The demurrage of a chemical tanker is significant. Immediate and adequate action is needed in such cases to minimise costs. DPS can offer hands-on added value thanks to its experience and long-lasting contacts with several companies that are able to mitigate liquid bulk cargo losses.

DPS partners specialised in filtering contaminated liquid bulk cargoes, transhipment possibilities and specialised laboratories are all located near the port of Antwerp.