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Sludge discharge from ships - planning, preparation, safety checks & discharging ashore

Ship generated sludge are the residue from any oil separation process which is usually a mixture of water, solid material and high viscosity oil. Sludge oil means sludge from the fuel or lubricating oil separators, waste lubricating oil from the main or auxiliary machinery, or waste oil from bilge water separators, oil filtering equipment or drip trays, (MARPOL).

Sludge tank A tank provided to receive oily residues coming from the oily water filtering or separating equipment and from the purification of fuel and lubricating oils. The sludge tank should be easy to empty and inspect. The tank height must not be less than 400mm. The tank floor should have a slope of minimum 15.

Ship - shore Sludge discharge operation involved numerous hazards and careful consideration will need to be made for safe planning and execution.Sludge discharge We summarized here some basic check points for safe handling. These procedures are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship

Preparation of sludge discharge plan :

Has it been confirmed with the receiver that they will issue a certificate including quantity and type of sludge discharged?

Has receiver confirmed they will receive the entire nominated quantity from the ship?

sludge collecting ship at singapore
Fig: sludge collecting ship at singapore

Has an onboard meeting of the personnel overseeing transfer been held and have they been familiarized with the sludge discharge plan?

Name of responsible engineer (2/A/E or 3/A/E):

Name of responsible engine rating (Olr or Wpr):

Are sludge discharge procedures and piping diagrams displayed at the discharge manifold?

Has the sludge/bilge pump emergency stop switch been checked for operation and working?

Preparation for sludge discharge ashore:

Are related valves and pipelines correctly marked for easy identification?

Have all deck scuppers been plugged?

Has it been confirmed that the pipeline to be used is in good condition?

Has it been confirmed that the sludge transfer line is properly isolated and no other oil transfer is going on during the sludge discharge operation?

Is the opposite side manifold blanked?

Have appropriate light and flag signals been displayed?

Is SOPEP and fire fighting equipment ready for immediate deployment?

Have pumping rate & means of communication (incl. emergency) been agreed with receiver?

While starting and during discharging:

Confirm no oil floating in water around the vessel?

Is the sludge discharge line properly set?

Confirm no leaks and the pump parameters normal?

Is the reception confirmed by the receiving facility?

Confirmation after completion :

Is the transfer pump stopped and line set back to normal?

Has all the gear been secured back in original place and area squared up/cleaned up?

Has the manifold line been blanked?

Has vessel received the sludge discharge certificate and checked contents for correctness?

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Ship to ship transfer of fuel oil

Bulk liquid cargo handling - Ship to shore safety checklist

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