Coal Superintending Services


Superintending Services

Bureau Veritas supplies our customers with confidence in the quality and quantity of the cargo. This, in turn, can help safeguard your interests and minimise associated risk. Our certificates are internationally recognised and accepted. Our clients include major coal-producing and using organisations worldwide. Bureau Veritas is one of the largest superintendents of sea-born coal cargoes globally with laboratories at most coal ports around the world.


Coal Superintending Services

Coal Cargo Blending Support

This process will vary depending upon exact customer requirements, however, the procedure below gives a demonstration of existing practices:

  • The Coal Quality Supply Chain Advisor specifies a cargo blend target, mine sites and stockpile numbers, in preparation for vessel arrival.
  • Bureau Veritas performs blend calculations for each stockpile and a blend ratio is put forward to the Coal Quality Supply Chain Advisor.
  • The blend ratio is confirmed with Bureau Veritas, then cargo blending requirements are sent to the loading co-ordinator.
  • Actual composite samples can be prepared and analysed to confirm theoretical blend ratios if required.
  • Cargo assemble files are updated after each train sample analysis is completed and reported to the Coal Quality Supply Chain Advisor.
  • During ship loading rapid analysis is conducted hourly by Bureau Veritas and blend ratio is adjusted as/if needed. This is done by contacting the loading coordinator by phone and requesting the ratio change. This is also confirmed by Bureau Veritas personnel via computer link to the port Intranet system (password required).
  • Shipment analysis results are compared with inbound monitoring. Outliers are immediately re-prepared and re-analysed to ensure vessel specifications are met.
  • This procedure between has been forged between Bureau Veritas and Coal Producers over many years and works seamlessly at all major coal loading ports.

Coal Certification

In order to complete commercial settlement of cargo quality and quantity, independent third party certification is required. Bureau Veritas is widely regarded as the world leader in this certification process for bulk commodities.

 For coal cargoes the following services are available:

  • Vessel Loading Certification
  • Quality
  • Weight
  • Draft Survey
  • Hold Cleanliness
  • Origin
  • Auto Sampler Bias Testing
  • Rail Services
  • Mechanical and Manual Sampling
  • Load Port Stockpile Monitoring and Sampling
  • Rail Discharge Sampling at Port

Coal Handling & Preparation Plant (CHPP) Auditing

Bureau Veritas recognises the key component to the success of a sample plant audit is the logistical planning required. Our specialised auditing team have provided complex and large CHPP audits for major coal producers. Our auditors identify operational inefficiencies, enabling clients to correct those inefficiencies and maximise yield.

Our successful coordination and completion of audits have been acknowledged through the satisfaction of our clients (among them the industries largest coal producers) over our 30 years history providing this service.

We have the internally trained and mine-site competent personnel to cater for the largest CHPP audits. Furthermore, Bureau Veritas has a core strength in this area in our ability to support clients with additional local testing laboratories and facilities.

Our audits go over each individual piece of equipment and assess their individual efficiency to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire coal washing process.

CHPP Audits in conjunction with on-site laboratory support provides data for efficient yield management on critical wash plant equipment.

Coal Draught Survey Services

The draught survey is the way the weight of a cargo on board a vessel is measured. Specially trained and highly qualified inspectors employed by Bureau Veritas are used to the complexities of determining the weight of cargoes on board a vessel. There are many elements and variable to be taken into account. For example, the draught marks allow a draught surveyor to measure how deep the vessel lies in the water which permits the displacement of the vessel and its cargo to be calculated.

However, there are many factors here that also impact on the vessel. These include the salinity of the harbour water, which will vary from port to port. On-board measurements need to be taken from the ballast tanks to assess the impact of those on vessel weight. The ballast can have a significant impact depending on the density of the liquid used; seawater has a different density to fresh water. Inspectors will need to establish the ‘constant’, which is the difference between the theoretical and the calculated weight of the vessel weight of the vessel and is made up of various weights such as sludge, stores and the crew. This forms part of the vessel’s history.

Bureau Veritas' inspectors determine the weight of cargoes at ports across the world and are highly regarded for their expertise.

Coal Pre-Shipment Inspection

Bureau Veritas' pre-shipment inspection services are designed to eliminate risk and protect your interests in international programmes. To complement the pre-shipment services Bureau Veritas also offer you supervision at the arrival and discharge stages.

Bureau Veritas can represent your interest whether you import or export goods. Our experienced personnel will conduct professional evaluation and physical inspection of cargoes. We can report direct to you on all aspects of pre-shipment inspection and price verification - to ensure the correct contractual payment of royalties, commissions and tax. Our highly accurate price monitoring ensures you are protected for duty purposes and against fraud and the dumping of goods.

Coal Sample Plant Compliance Auditing

Bureau Veritas has experienced personnel with a thorough working knowledge of mechanical sampling systems. The key personnel performing these audits and maintenance checks have many years experience in compliance auditing, bias testing and operation of sample plants.

Our global network has the capacity to deliver bias testing services and sample plants audits at most coal producing / export locations around the world.

Bureau Veritas has developed operational equipment and software specific to mine site and load port sample plants and over many years of auditing has developed an inherent knowledge of sample plant operations. This enables problems and difficulties associated with these plants to be rapidly identified and remedial practices put in place. Bureau Veritas has structured its auditing procedures to allow adaptation to new standards.

Our Sample Plant Capabilities include:

  • Cutter Speed Analysis
  • Sample Size Variograms
  • Comprehensive compliance audit reports listing all measurements to determine conformity with specifications and compliance with relevant standards.

Coal Sampling

Our sampling teams are fully qualified and trained in accordance with international standard methods. We offer 24/7, 365 days per year sampling coverage at all major coal ports and rail loading / receival terminals.

This sampling process will vary depending upon exact customer requirements and sampling infrastructure in place, however the procedure below gives a demonstration of existing practises:

- Sampling is performed by either an automatic sampling plant, or manual sampling in accordance with international standards.
- Samples are then crushed further and subdivided for analysis as part of the secondary sampling system at the port / rail terminal.
- Total Moisture and analytical samples are delivered back to the Bureau Veritas laboratory throughout the vessel loading.
- Bureau Veritas shipping and rail rosters offer 24/7 coverage all year round. We also has several backup samplers available 24/7 for utilisation during multiple berth cargo superintending and train sampling

Coal Stockpile Monitoring

Bureau Veritas performs volumetric surveys on commodities as part of a suite of techniques to determine stockpile volume. Volumetric testing is complex. Inspectors need to consider a wide range of factors in coming to an informed answer for the client – these include the shape and uniformity of the stockpile. Measurement of key variables can be difficult depending on the site and the material being measured. 

Bureau Veritas has the expertise to undertake this work and make sure that clients are fully aware of the reliance that can be placed on results, adding to the risk management aspect of our work. This capability adds to the range of procedures that Inspectorate can use, such as draught surveys, barge gauging surveys and weighbridge surveys to produce accurate measurements. Our experienced inspectors ensure quantities are accurate and product value is realised, through supervision and maintaining weighing procedures.

Transportable Moisture Limit

Liquefaction risk and cargo instability

Transportable Moisture Limit – this is the maximum moisture content of a cargo that is considered safe for transportation in ships. It is calculated as 90 per cent of the Flow Moisture Point (FMP). If the cargo is assessed as having higher moisture content, it is strongly recommended that the cargo should not be transported unless the vessel is specially built or fitted.

The decision on whether or not to load and transport a cargo is always ultimately that of the ship’s master and the port authorities, who may be guided by the results of FMP testing.

Bureau Veritas is at the forefront of sampling and mechanical testing including the flow table and penetration tests. We have testing capabilities in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Australia with facilities being developed in Africa.