Real Life Incident: Inert Gas Generator Malfunction Gives Rise To Increased Inspection

A tanker was berthed and discharging cargo when carbon soot particles were observed on the sea side of the vessel. It was quickly identified that the soot particles were coming from the overboard discharge of the Inert Gas Generator (IGG) scrubber.

Image for representation purposes only

The discharging operation was interrupted to investigate the cause further and rectify the issue. There were no overdue maintenance, inspection or defect jobs related to IGG and associated equipment. The vessel’s engineers found that the inert gas sampling lines to the IGG oxygen analyzer were partially clogged due to carbon deposits.

The planned maintenance system (PMS) did not include any requirement for periodic inspection of the sampling pipes of the oxygen analyser.

Although the likelihood of the lines becoming clogged is considered low, the company’s PMS was updated to provide for periodic checks and cleaning of inert gas sampling pipes for the oxygen analyser.

Also, the frequency of scrubber tower inspection/cleaning was changed from 12 to six months in vessels with inert gas generators as this could provide an early indication of systems component clogging.

Reference: The Nautical Institute

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