Wilhelmsen's Fire Foam Testing Network Helps Cutomers Meet New IMO Regulations

Wilhelmsen Ships Service is launching a new initiative to assist its tanker operator customers in adapting to new regulations regarding the testing and supplying of fire-fighting foam. The initiative, in which the company has set up a network of testing stations, follows the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) revised requirements for testing protein-based, alcohol-resistant (PB AR) foam concentrates.

In response to this revised standard, Wilhelmsen Ships Service has ensured that its foam testing service stations are capable of performing foam concentrate tests in accordance with MSC 1./Circ.1312. The company is offering a global availability of relevant foam replacements as well as testing services.

“It is important that ship operators do not compromise the safety of their ships in case of a fire on deck,” explains Katja Eriksen, Marketing Manager at Wilhelmsen Ships Service. “We are offering free advice on foam concentrates to ensure that our customers’ fire protection continues to be fully effective.” She adds, “Customers can land their foam samples in a port of their choice to be tested by Wilhelmsen Ships Service in accordance with the new MSC 1./Circ.1312.”

Martin van der End, Product Marketing Manager for Fire & Safety Products explained further. “It was found that older types of PB AR foam concentrates may not be compatible with a number of chemicals (polar solvents) and may fail to extinguish a fire in an emergency. The new test standard combines the traditional test standards MSC/Circ.582 and MSC/Circ.799 in one standard, amends the requirements for the stability test on acetone and adds a small scale fire test for PB AR foam concentrates, which actually makes the difference in comparison to the traditional test standards that are being superseded by the MSC 1./Circ.1312.”

It is anticipated that many, if not all, of the PB AR foam concentrates presently in use onboard ships could fail to pass if tested in accordance with the new test standard and will therefore have to be replaced.

Wilhelmsen Ships Service supplies Unitor marine products, technical services, ships agency services and maritime logistics.