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Petcoke loading - hold cleaning requirements

Petcoke is short for petroleum coke, which is a byproduct of the oil refinery coking process that produces low-cost fuel, often with a high sulphur content. Petcoke may also be known as green delayed coke, sponge coke, needle coke, delayed coke or raw coke-fuel grade.

There are various grades of coke. Some of these are not difficult to clean, while others can result in significant discolouring of the hold paint which may mean a failed hold inspection.



Coke is a solid carbonaceous residue derived from low-ash, low-sulphur bituminous coal, from which the volatile constituents are removed by baking in an oven without oxygen at high temperature. Coal-derived pitch coke (pencil pitch) is a high-purity carbon residue manufactured by the distillation (coking) of coal tar pitch from bituminous coal, and can produce staining on the hold bulkheads. Calcined coke is a hard, brittle substance, shiny and oily in appearance, and rich in carbon with very low ash content.

Green delayed petcoke

Green delayed petroleum coke, commonly known as petcoke, is a carbonaceous solid derived from the refining process of crude oil. This type of coke is high in carbon content and produces persistent staining of cargo holds. It is sometimes called green coke or raw coke. Calcined petcoke is heated up to 2,000 deg C, which removes almost all residual hydrocarbon and moisture.

Cleaning after cargoes such as coke and calcined petcoke is less of a problem than pitch coke, which has some characteristics similar to those of green delayed petcoke. If loading petcoke that stains, the loading stevedores should be advised not to aim the coke via the loading chute directly at the hold bulkheads. This will reduce the impact on the bulkheads and the amount of cleaning required.

Onboard cleaning equipment, including chemicals, can usually remove all the staining; however, the staining on the tank top may be more difficult to remove. Additional high-pressure cleaning with chemicals and brushing may be required.

It should be remembered that in many ports, even petcoke inspections can be stringent. Specifications often require that the holds are clean, dried, and free of scale, loose rust and any other foreign materials or residue of previous cargo, whether on tank tops, bulkheads, hatch coamings or underside of hatch lids. Painting of the holds is typically not required, but surveyors will look for cleanliness, paint and rust blistering, cargo residues and potentially loose paintwork.


Met coke

Metallurgical coke, or met coke, is manufactured from blends of bituminous coal in a heated distillation process resulting in a non-melting carbon used mainly in the manufacture of steel. Before loading Remove all solid residues, sweep clean and flush with seawater. Paint protection is not usually required. After discharge





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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
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