The November 1990 issue of HCB was another chunky number, with plenty of regulatory updates to provide to readers and some lengthy coverage of the gas shipping sectors ahead of the Gastech show that was to take place in Amsterdam in the first week of December. HCB took the opportunity to publish its first comprehensive survey of LPG tanker fleets in the three different sectors, alongside a close examination of the growing LNG tanker sector.
This should perhaps not have come as too much of a surprise. After all, HCB’s founding editor Mike Corkhill, still in charge after ten years, had studied naval architecture and specialised in gas tankers.
The November issue also included HCB’s by now regular review of the tank container manufacturing sector, where we noted that there had been a fall in output in 1990 as the impact of the 1988 financial crisis was being felt among the client industries. That was especially true of standard units, though demand in the industrialised world was trending more towards more sophisticated tanks.
Younger readers with an interest in tank containers may be surprised at what we predicted back in 1990: “Only the European and South African manufacturers are geared up to the production of both these special tanks and series of standard units at competitive prices. New builders in the Far East and North America will undoubtedly emerge in the years ahead but they will be more concerned with domestic rather than world markets.”
We could not have been more wrong – since then Chinese manufacturers have come to dominate the sector, even for ‘specials’. The leading manufacturers in the 1990 list – Van Hool, BSLT, Arbel Fauvet Rail, Consani, WEW and CPV, for example – are now hardly mentioned or are no longer in existence.
Another name unfamiliar to many these days would be Van Ommeren Ceteco (VOC), which had just sold its tank container operation to Stolt Tank Containers (STC), expanding the STC fleet to some 3,600 units and taking it into the gas tank sector for the first time. VOC was part of Royal Van Ommeren, which a few years later (and not at the first time of trying) merged with Royal Pakhoed to form Royal Vopak. Vopak has since spun off or sold off all its interests in activities other than bulk liquid and LNG storage.
In the regulatory arena, the experts had once more been busy and, as HCB said at the time: “Those who think the dangerous goods transport regulations are reaching maturity, reflect again. The UN experts have a work programme which already stretches will into the 1990s.”
One major issue the UN experts were wrestling with was the large number of generic and NOS entries in the Dangerous Goods List as a result of the revised nomenclature in Divisions 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 5.1 of RID and ADR. At the July 1990 session of the UN Sub-committee, an intense argument ensued, with the US in particular being opposed to the proliferation of entries that would, it felt, make no positive contribution to safety. As ever, though, the fact that the US was outnumbered at the UN by RID/ADR countries led to its opposition being overcome. Looking back, though, perhaps the US delegation had a point.[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: November 1990 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 30-years-ago-november-1990 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-10-29 08:22:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-10-29 08:22:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://hcblive.com/?p=29815 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )