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   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


Wood Pulp Fail 2 Paint Blisters wet paint poor paint adhesion1 wet floor

Dirty Cargo Holds

Paint Blisters


Wet Paint

Presence of Water on Tank Top

Area of Poor Paint Adhesion

Key Facts    


   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.

cargo hold rust Wood Pulp Pass Wood Pulp pass 2 clean hold


   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.

leaking grab maintained grab grab not leaking

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

       notified immidiately.

Please always refer to the Cargo Manual for more details.