The fuels landscape is set to dramatically change when IMO’s 0.5 per cent sulphur cap comes into force on 1 January, 2020. To prepare for the shift, ExxonMobil has published a set of four tips to help ensure safe and reliable vessel operations for those in the shipping industry who make the switch to low-sulphur fuels.
1) Establish best practices
Prevention, as the saying goes, is better than a cure. And there are three essential precautions operators can take to help avoid falling victim to the pitfalls of contaminated fuels.
2) Test for cat fines
Some new 0.5 per cent sulphur fuels could contain elevated levels of cat fines which, if not properly treated, may cause engine damage. If laboratory testing shows a high concentration, here are some steps to take to protect your engine:
3) Check for compatibility
With the multitude of fuel oil options expected post-2020, there is a risk that separate compliant fuels will not be compatible and, when blended, could form sludge. Here are a few preventative measures that can prevent sludge from forming:
4) Monitor for sludge
If sludge does begin to form, early detection is key. Once sludge has been detected, operators should avoid further fuel blending as this may exacerbate the problem. To remove the sludge: