As a consequence of the Brim accident on 11 March 2021 and a preliminary report from the Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority, the Norwegian Maritime Authority is carrying out inspections on vessels with battery installations with a low IP rating of less than IP-44.
These inspections are ongoing, with surveyors having detected salt in several battery rooms as a result of humid air or water intrusion.
The Norwegian Maritime Authority has received a report from a battery supplier pointing out that there is a significant risk of incidents involving systems that have a low IP rating and where the barrier system cannot prevent the intrusion of moisture, salt and possibly seawater into the battery room.
It is currently not possible to determine when any build-up of salt or moisture will have consequences. Therefore, it is necessary for the Norwegian Maritime Authority to issue a safety notice while the work is still in progress
said the Norwegian Maritime Authority, which requested that the following is carried out as soon as possible on vessels with this type of battery system:
– Verify that the battery room is protected against the ingress of seawater through openings, including ventilation inlets and outlets, considering the ship’s operational premises.
– Check possible leakage points and take measures where there is a risk of seawater intrusion. Any pipe penetrations in the battery room must be evaluated so that they do not pose a danger in the event of a leak. Measures must be taken to ensure that any seawater in the room does not have any leakage points that might affect the battery system.
– Assess the environment where the batteries are located (such as temperature, level of salt, moisture) and whether it might be harmful to the battery system.
– If there are traces of salt or moisture in the battery room, please contact the battery supplier, who must perform a physical inspection of the condition of the batteries. The report of such inspection must be submitted to the Norwegian Maritime Authority.