Ballast Tank and Holds Refurbishment

Client: Stephenson Clarke Shipping

Industry: Marine

Scope: Ballast Tank and Holds Refurbishment

Date: 2005, 2007 & 2010

Location: UK

Products: RA 500M


Stephenson Clarke manage and own a fleet of bulk carriers which require fast re-fitting program to meet with the charterers’ requirements. They required a fast refurbishment of ballast tanks and holds in the Dallington in order to retain class.


Historically, Stephenson Clarke had utilised solvent-based paint systems for their ballast tanks and cargo holds. Preparation to Sa 2.5 by dry-grit blasting and subsequent humidity and temperature controls to maintain ideal painting conditions is both tedious and expensive. This, combined with the strict adherence to re-coating intervals of conventional paints, leads to slow return to service. Stephenson Clarke required an alternative system to fast forward their re-fit programs; based on their experience, they chose the revolutionary Chemco wet-tolerant systems.


Epo-chem™ 500 Series, solvent-free, wet tolerant, single coat was specified. The preparation was high pressure wash to WJ-3, followed by application of one coat of Epo-chem™ RA 500M @ 250µ DFT. RA 500M is FDA approved for the carriage of foodstuffs. The same coating was used in the ballast tanks after high-pressure washing (800 bar).


A total area of over 10,000m² was coated, ballast tanks were ready in 24 hours and cargo tanks in 72 hours to be put back into service. The total project cost was estimated to be 30% lower than the normal conventional system of grit blasting and painting. Additionally, the vessel was back in service and earning revenue much quicker than it would have been if solvent-based paint had been used due to the reduction in preparation, equipment, staging and de-staging and fast cure of the Chemco system.

During re-fit operations in 2007, the Superintendent in-charge and Lloyds Register’s representative inspected the fore-peak and aft-peak tanks which had been coated with Epo-chem™ RA 500M in 2005 and stated that these tanks were in excellent condition. Further inspection in 2010 showed no deterioration. No maintenance required from 2005 until 2012 in all areas coated with Epo-chem™ RA 500M.


  • Vessel back in service significantly faster
  • Greatly reduced H&S and Fire Precaution
  • Vastly reduced environmental impact
  • No grit blasting
  • No requirement for de-humidification
  • No extra ventilation requirements
  •  No requirement for heating
  •  Project cost reduced by 30% versus traditional paints
  •  Chemco system will protect the steel substrate in excess of 10 years

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