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12.07.07 02:44
"Mechanic Khachepuridze" - the first Russian river-sea going tanker was reequipped according to the newest MARPOL requirements

Product and chemical tanker "Mechanic Khachepuridze " (IMO 8727939) is a pr. 630 tanker. She makes the voyage from the port of Syzran, which is on Volga, to the European consumer after large reequipment at Ilyichevsk's shipyard.
Reequipment in the chemical tanker has been completed by the shipyard on June, 1, 2007 (the works were guided by Alexander Marar).
Shipping company "BEST", situated in Samara, is the ship-owner of the "Mechanic Khachepuridze". Anna Nikitina is general director of the company. Alexander Kishev conducted reequipment from the ship-owner's side.
The project of reequipment has been carried out by the Marine Engineering Bureau.
After reequipment the vessel has received class RS L4 IISP tanker/ chemical 2 (vegetable oil) (EPS). Deadweight was increased up to 5700 tons when sea draught is of 4.09 m.
With the draught of 3,60 m in the river deadweight is of 4511 tons.
Capacity of cargo tanks is of 6300 m³. Number of tanks is 12. There are 2 cargo pumps. Each of them has output of 450 m³/h.
The vessel was constructed in 1984. Her dimensions are of: overall length 138.0 m, breadth 16.5 m, depth 6.40 m.
Two medium-speed engines of 882 kW each provide vessel's speed of 10.4 kn.
The most part of Soviet tankers with the deadweight of 5000 tons and less, such as "Mechanic Khachepuridze", does not have either double bottom and the double sides, or height of the double bottom is less than value required by the Regulation 19 (former 13F) of MARPOL. These tankers concern to the following projects (vessels were built at the Russian and Bulgarian shipyards): "Volgoneft" type: pr. 550, 550A, 558, 1577, 630, 630.1, 630.2 "Lenaneft" type: pr. P77, 621, 621.1, 621.2 bunker vessel type: pr. 610, 588 "Oleg Koshevoj" type: pr. 1677M, 16773, 16776 "ore-oil carrier" type: pr. 1553, 1570, etc.
Among 215 river-sea going tankers supervised by RRR there are no tankers which satisfy MARPOL requirements. In 2008 only 2 vessels from 27 (7%) in RS IIISP class will satisfy the international requirements, in PS IISP class - only 19 from 86 (22%), in PS I class - only 16 from 57 (28%).
It is necessary to mark, that among 3512 "small" tankers of world fleet only 151 (4 %) have double hull which satisfies MARPOL. According to the Regulation 21 (former 13m) maintenance of remaining 3361 vessels at transportations of heavy grades oil and masouts with specific gravity more than 0.9 is allowed only till 2008. Such international requirements' toughening is explained by European Community position after breaking of tanker "Prestige" on 19.11.2002. As a result about 200 km of coast were polluted by masout in Spanish Galicia and France.
Other international requirements' toughening was a revision of the Annex II of MARPOL. As a result the vegetable oils which were concerning earlier to chapter 18 of IBC Code and were transported by ordinary tanker including single-hull ones have been accepted as category Y that are deemed to present a hazard to either marine resources or cause harm to amenities or other legitimate uses of the sea and therefore justify a limitation on the quality and quantity of the discharge into the marine environment.
Therefore since January, 1, 2007 vegetable oils can be transported only by chemical tankers IMO2 or by chemical tankers IMO3 in case of exemption presence and damage stability requirements fulfilment.
Thus, the majority of present tankers with deadweight of 5000 tons and less at period 2007-2008 will lose the habitual place in the market and in the future will be able to transport only light petroleum products and light grades oil.
Possible variants of shipowners' actions:
(1) Discarding of old vessels and building new MARPOL tank vessels;
(2) Transportation only light oils (probably, in the future, it will be possible only for tankers with age less than 25 years);
(3) Tanker's reequipment into dry cargo ship;
(4) Arranging of double bottom and double sides without changing the year of building (modernization);
(5) Arranging of double bottom and double sides with changing the year of building (conversion).
Decisions (4) and (5) allow to increase a life time of present tankers for the term of 10-15 years and to provide the required international ecological safety level.
The first example of such approach was realized in reequipment of tanker "Mechanic Khachepuridze". It consisted in increasing double bottom height up to the value required by MARPOL and system modernization due to chemical carrier IMO2 requirements.
The total weight of the transferred constructions is 142 tons, weight of new constructions is 30 tons, weight of replacement is 108 tons.
The basic result of reequipment is extension of a vessel operation for at least 10 years, keeping an opportunity of transportations of the full nomenclature of oils, and also all grades of vegetable oils at increased deadweight of 5700 tons.