BIMCO, Intertanko, Intercargo and ICS have partnered in an attempt to identify fuel quality issues following the onset of IMO’s sulphur cap; data gathered will be used in future IMO submissions
The aim of the survey is to help gain a greater understanding of the quality of new fuel oil and safety implications of the IMO 2020 sulphur regulations.
The survey’s main focus is on problematic properties of compliant fuel oil that may lead to increased sludge discharge, clogged fuel pipes, preheaters, fuel separators and fuel filters, fuel pumps getting stuck, problems with fuel injection and poor fuel oil ignition.
There have been reported incidents where high levels of sediments were found in VLSFOs. In January, tests run by a unit of Lloyd’s Register showed samples ordered as VLSFO grades where total sediment potential results were above the ISO 8217:2017 limit of 0.10% m/m. Further there are also concerns that the methods of testing new fuel blends are limited and need reworking.
The survey also focuses on issues including incomplete combustion, wax appearance and increased wear and tear of cylinder liners; all problems that may lead to loss of propulsion and/or blackout. Blackout is a scenario where the main propulsion plant and associate machinery such as boiler, purifier and other auxiliary systems stop operating due to the ship’s power generation system failing.
Survey participants are guaranteed complete anonymity and are encouraged to provide short answers to 13 questions about their experiences with fuel oil quality since the inception of the sulphur cap on 1 January 2020.
Depending on the outcome of the survey, particularly with regard to the emergence of obvious trends, the organisations intend to use the data gathered in any submissions made to IMO in the future.
You can access the survey here.
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