Declaration of General Average on containership after engine fire
Above image is used for illustration purposes only/ Credit: Shutterstock
General Average (“GA”) has been declared on the Northern Jupiter on January 17, 2020, after the German container-ship suffered a main engine fire whilst in the Malacca Straits, on Saturday, 4 January 2020.
'General Average' is phrase is commonly used in the shipping sector covering marine energy policies including mobile offshore drilling fleets and offshore construction projects.
Specifically, Average in a marine insurance policy is the term for a loss; this is where the term Average Adjuster comes from which is another term often used in marine insurance for a Loss Adjuster.
According to a recent statement by the Ocean Network Express, the owners of Northern Jupiter have now appointed Average Adjusters, that will be arranging for the collection of General Average securities from parties concerned in cargo, containers and bunkers.
The Average Adjusters are preparing the necessary instructions to the parties concerned in cargo as well as Average Bond and Average Guarantee forms which are to be completed and signed by cargo interests.
General Average is incorporated into contracts of carriage whereby all parties to an adventure who benefit from the sacrifice or expenditure must contribute to make good the amount sacrificed or the expenditure incurred. General Average applies to maritime adventures so it can not arise in connection with goods in transit overland.
In particular, the vessel was sailing from Singapore to Port Klang on Saturday 4 January 2020 when it suffered fire in the main engine; the fire was extinguished; yet, the main engine of the vessel suffered damage.
Engine room fires are often very challenging to deal with, due to the construction of the room and a plentiful supply of the fire triangle elements: heat, fuel and oxygen. A major engine room fire can have destructive consequences and, in the aftermath, it’s unlikely for a ship to continue under her own power.
The following heat sources are most likely to start a fire in the engine room:
hot exhaust pipe
bearings of rotating machinery heating up
defunct electrical equipment.
Northern Jupiter was anchored in the vicinity of the Malacca Straits and was awaiting clearance from Malaysia Maritime Authorities to be towed back to a Singapore anchorage for further assessment.
The vessel completed the class survey report on January 8, and was submitted together with the towage plan to Malaysia Maritime Authorities for approval.
It was on January 9, when the vessel received approval to be towed back to Singapore, and on January 14, the vessel completed its towage and reached a Singapore anchorage for detailed inspection to assess the extent of damage and further plan.
The vessel is currently safely anchored at the anchorage in Singapore.