The SOLAS Regulations II – 1/3.2 - Performance Standards for Protective Coating (PSPC) were developed to improve the corrosion prevention of seawater ballast tanks in all types of ships and in the double-side skin spaces of bulk carriers.The performance standard provides technical requirements for protective coatings in dedicated seawater ballast tanks. It will be applicable to all types of ships of not less than 500 gross tons and also double-side skin spaces arranged in bulk carriers of 150m in length and upward. The new requirements will enter into force for a ship:
- For which the building contract is placed on or after 8 December 2006, if the vessel is to comply with the IACS Common Structural Rules (CSR), i.e. bulk carriers equal to or above 90 meter in length
- For which the building contract is placed on or after 1 July, 2008, or
- In the absence of a building contract, the keels of which are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 1 January, 2009, or
- The delivery of which is on or after 1 July, 2012
The new coating standard is based on a detailed specification of requirements which intend to provide a target useful coating life of 15 years, which is considered to be the period, from initial application, during which the coating system is intended to remain in ’GOOD‘ condition. The actual useful life will vary, depending on numerous variables including the actual conditions encountered in service.The coating application (including steel surface preparation) is to be followed up by:
- Coating system approval
- Coating inspection
A Coating Technical File is to be prepared and must include a specification of the coating system, a record of the shipyard’s and shipowner’s coating work, detailed criteria for the coating selection, job specifications, and the inspection, maintenance and repair work carried out. The Coating Technical File is to be kept on board and maintained throughout the life of the ship.
Some yards already more or less comply with the requirements stated in the Performance Standard, while others will need some upgrading of their production system to comply with this standard. As inspections are to be carried out by qualified inspectors, training will be needed. All coating systems must be pre-qualified by either tests or field exposure and the results are to be documented.