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Risk of sea chests and filters clogging at Barranquilla, Colombia

We have been advised by our trusted local correspondents, A&A Multiprime, that the port of Barranquilla, Colombia, is currently suffering a critical increase of vegetal residues and sediments (Tarulla in Spanish) along the navigable channel of the Magdalena River and its terminals. This phenomenon has been primarily caused as a consequence of the strong rainy season and is potentially causing relevant obstructions in vessels´ sea chests, especially for those vessels that have to stay at the same terminal for more than 6 days.

Our correspondent recently handled a case where a vessel that had been berthed for 11 days at the same terminal suffered a total clogging of her sea chests and filters due to the excess of sediment, affecting the operation of her cooling and ballast system. She had to be towed to the anchorage area where the filters and sea chests were cleaned. This required the assistance of four tugs to perform the manoeuvre.

To prevent this type of incident, our correspondent suggests the following actions be undertaken by vessels alongside any terminal at the Barranquilla port:

• Perform periodic cleaning to the vessel’s filters whilst berthed in order to prevent clogging.
• Ascertain and discuss with the terminal and local agents the condition of the pier where the vessel will be berthed and the presence of sediments before arrival. If necessary, request the terminal remove the excess of those residues.
• Constantly monitor the presence of sediments around the vessel during cargo operations, especially if the vessel will stay at the Port of Barranquilla for more than 6 days.

Members should contact their local agents for the latest information. If you have any questions about this news item, please contact your usual claims handler for further assistance.
Source: Standard Club

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