a) Soda Ash is the common name for Dosium Carbonate. It is very fine white powder which has several uses, the main one being
the manufacture of glass which accounts for approximately 50% of all Soda Ash production. It is also commonly used as an
additive in the production of detergents. Both these production processes require the utmost cleanliness and cargo must be
delivered completely free from all contaminants.
b) For this reason an extremely high standard of cargo hold cleanliness is required and therefore, prior to the vessels being accepted
for loading Soda Ash, shippers surveyor will conduct a verydetailed and thorough inspection of cargo holds. If any parts of a cargo
hold presents any risk of contamination to the cargo then the hold will be rejected. Holdswill fail if they are presented with even the
smallest amount of the following:-
i) Cargo residues/ dirt/ dust.
ii) Loose rust.
iii) Flaking paint/ paint blisters/ wet paint.
iv) Areas of poor paint adhesion.
v) Presence of Water or signs of water ingress.
Some examples of these are demonstrated in the photograps below
Dirty Cargo Holds
Presence of Water on Tank Top
Area of Poor Paint Adhesion
a) It is not accepted to paint over such surfaces in an attempt to conceal these defects as the surveyors will use a fine scraper to
detect them. All loose material must be removedand all "hard" edges of paint coating should be smoothed with a disc grinder or
similar. If required painting should be completed at least 48 hours before loading using a thinned paintto ensure coating is fully
cured in time. However it should be noted that painting of the prepared ares is not a requirement, holds will be accepted as long
none of the above conditions are present, in fact fresh paint often make the surveyor suspicious that a poorly prepared surface is
being covered up. Overleaf photos are examples of correctly prepared surfaces.
b) Soda ash in bulk is usually loaded by shore loader and discharged with ship's gras, therefore it follows that ship's grab are
also required to be in pristine condition following the same criteria as for cargo holds. There are very strict environmental
regulations in place to prevent air pollution as a result of leakage from grabs and, as Soda Ash is very fine with a low angle of
repose, the flow charecteristics require that grabs be correctly adjusted for tight closure, and edges in good condition. If grabs
are leaking cargo it is likely that the discharge operation will be stopped and vessel may be fined.
Grab Without Leakage
Grab with Leakage
Well Maintained Grab
c) Preparation for loading soda ash should begin as soon as vessel is nominated to carry this cargo and although the requirements
are very demanding, if cargo holds are being maintained according to the minimum standards required then these preparations
should be straight forward. however, if additional time or assistance is required, the voyage operator / company should be
Please always refer to the Cargo Manual for more details.