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The University of Southampton
Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering – Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging TechnologiesNews and Events

Launch event for LRF Solid Bulk Cargo Liquefaction Project

Published: 16 October 2020
Launch event for LRF SBCL

The launch workshop for a three year cross-sector partnership project funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation ‘Solid Bulk Cargo Liquefaction: Strategies for Effective Control’ was hosted virtually on 16 October 2020. 38 participants representing actors across the sector including mining companies, ship owners, trade associations, insurers, class societies, lawyers, consultants, testing houses, regulators, NGOs, and academics from UK and international institutions with a range of discipline expertise across the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Solid bulk cargo liquefaction is the cause of less than 20% of all bulk carrier vessel losses, but is responsible for in excess of 50% of loss of lives from lost bulk carriers [1].

Despite improvements in shipping safety and technology, cargo liquefaction remains an issue for bulk carriers. Liquefaction is thought to be behind recent losses, including the high profile cases of the Emerald Star in 2017 and the Bulk Jupiter in 2015, with a combined loss of 32 lives [2].

That solid bulk cargo liquefaction is responsible for less than 20% of recorded bulk carrier losses but over 50% of fatalities, evidences the importance of tackling this phenomenon in order to have significant impact on the safety of crew on board bulk carriers.

The project has three inter-related objectives:

Objective 1. Improve capability to determine risk of solid bulk cargo liquefaction

Objective 2. Improve awareness and education on risks and control of liquefiable solid bulk cargoes

Objective 3. Improve guidance and regulation to reduce risk of solid bulk cargo liquefaction

A distinctive characteristic of this project is the extent of cross-sector and international engagement amongst the partners. The project is led by a multi-disciplinary team at the University of Southampton including Chair in Emerging Technologies, Susan GourvenecProfessor Emily Reid and Professor Fraser Sturt, supported by the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute (SMMI) and Public Policy Southampton.

The project evolved from an SMMI HEIF grant awarded in 2018.

Further information about the project can be found here.

[1] Intercargo (2019) Bulk Carrier Casualty Report, available here.

[2] Allianz (2018) Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty Global Claims Review 2018, available here.

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