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January 26 2010

MAN Diesel ready for IMO ship recycling convention

The IMO Convention on Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, which regulates the use of hazardous substances in newbuildings, covers newbuildings with keels laid in about 2013. It applies to all the components of the ship and requires manufacturers to minimize or completely eliminate harmful substances from their products. Any unavoidable residual substances must be entered in an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) issued by the shipyard based on declarations from its suppliers.

As an engine, turbocharger, gear and propeller supplier, MAN Diesel's products are categorized as "Structure and Equipment" under the IMO convention. MAN Diesel is obliged to issue declarations under Table A Materials, which is mandatory for new and existing ships, and Table B Materials, which is mandatory for new ships and voluntary for existing ships.

"These involve a Materials Declaration for all our products containing materials identified by IMO as hazardous, as well as a Declaration of Conformity which confirms that we have the quality processes and procedures we need to ensure the correctness of our Materials Declarations," note Dr. Holger Gehring and Harald Krekel, who implemented the process for compliance with this convention in MAN Diesel.

MAN Diesel has monitored the development of the new IMO legislation closely and already has its solution in place.

"Materials Declarations are already available for all MAN Diesel Products," Gehring confirms. He notes that strict safety at work regulations in Europe mean that MAN engines contain only minor proportions of the hazardous substances listed by the IMO convention. "And in any case," he adds, "similar declarations are already requested in the 'Green Passport' schemes run by the classification societies."

Essentially, MAN Diesel has adopted an approach that obliges its suppliers to make parallel declarations. The obligation to declare potentially hazardous substances is now a part of its contracts with its suppliers and its Conditions of Purchase.

To ensure compliance, MAN Diesel has contacted its suppliers and ascertained what substances they use. The materials identified, are for example - as stated, in very small amounts -- lead in bearings, lead oxide in gaskets and mercury in thermometers. Under MAN Diesel's revised conditions and quality guidelines, suppliers issue MAN Diesel with their own Material Declarations, and are obliged to inform the company immediately of proposed changes in their manufacturing practices.

Parallel to identification and documentation of hazardous substances MAN Diesel has investigated how to reduce or eliminate these substances from our products. As a first consequence lead oxide free gaskets have been intensively tested. Most of the gaskets so far containing lead oxides have been substituted with lead-free components with the same of even better performance. The remaining ones will follow when performance testing is finished.


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