Argus Media: Sediment rates high in Americas bunkers, says Lloyd's Register
Stefka Wechsler of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Thursday (23 January) issued a report made by the Fuel Oil Bunker Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS) that said 9% of low sulphur fuel samples in the Americas analysed between 1 December-13 January found to be off specification for issues including engine-damaging sediment:
FOBAS, part of the classification society Lloyd’s Register, said that 9pc, or 40 samples, exceeding the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 8217 standard sediment limit of 0.1pc “is considered very high.”
The rate of sediment in the Americas was consistent with other regions, according to Lloyd’s. High sediment content could damage ships’ engines.
In tests for sulphur content at or below the 0.5pc limit in the Americas, Lloyd’s said 3pc, or 14, of the total marine fuel samples tested, were higher. There were seven instances, or 2pc, with acid numbers higher than the ISO recommended limit, five instances of high water content and four instances of high aluminium and silicon content. Lloyd’s Register tested approximately 444 samples of 0.5pc sulphur fuel oil in the Americas during the sample period.
The company said it is not receiving many requests from shipowners to perform fuel compatibility tests between different 0.5pc sulphur fuels because ships are keeping the different batches they buy segregated. This could change later in the year if shipowners begin to mix batches of the low-sulphur fuels in the same tank.
In the US, Lloyd’s marine fuel samples of 0.5pc sulphur fuel oil during the same period showed viscosity at 50°C averaging at 98 centistokes (cst), with maximum viscosity at 416cst and minimum at 2cst. The average US density of 0.5pc sulphur fuel oil measured at 933 kg/m3 (20.16° API gravity), and ranged from 848-1,000 kg/m3 (10.00°-35.36° API gravity).
In Panama during this period the average viscosity measured was at 87cst and the average density at 937 kg/m3 (19.51° API gravity). On 1 January, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) capped the sulphur emissions of marine fuel burned in international waters at 0.5pc from 3.5pc.
“It is still early days to judge whether the variability of [0.5pc sulphur] fuel quality characteristics will remain high or as we progress, the delta will reduce and we see more stable trends”, Lloyd’s told Argus.
The company also received for testing samples of high-sulphur residual fuel oil from vessels outfitted with scrubbers in the major bunkering hubs, namely Singapore, Fujairah, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Shanghai, St Petersburg, Barcelona, Las Palmas, Hamburg and others. But the markets are currently fluid and there may be more ports offering high-sulphur fuels to vessels with scrubbers in the future.
Source: Argus Media
Published: 28 January, 2020
Viswa Lab report links incorrect usage of lube oil to excessive engine liner wear
‘Excessive liner wear while using the new VLSFO fuels’ analysed 12 cases of abnormal engine cylinder liner wear out of over 20,000 tested VLSFO bunker samples.
FOBAS ALERT: Elevated sediment fuels from Balboa
Samples supposed to be ISO-F-RMG380 grade exceeded total sediment limit of 0.1% outlined by ISO 8217 - indicating the fuel to be unstable.
FOBAS Alert: Elevated sediment fuels from Rotterdam
Recommends ships to obtain additional reassurance suppliers adhere to the ISO 8217 requirements when bunkering in Rotterdam.
FOBAS Alert: Elevated sediment fuels from Greek ports
Unstable fuels caused by high sediments will result in excessive sludge deposition in fuel handling and treatment systems.
GARD: Target for 0.47% in VLSFO test sample to ensure IMO compliance
For bunker producer/supplier to meet 95% confidence limit, blend target should be the limit minus 0.59R.
FOBAS: Off-spec fuel quality report records 106 instances worldwide
A variety of issues, including elevated total sediment potential, were seen from bunker samples at Singapore port.
Argus Media viewpoint: 0.5pc fuel oil primacy to prolong tightness
Bunker congestion at major Mediterranean ports could continue well into 2020 over availability, says analyst.
FOBAS Alert: Off Specification Sediment VLSFO from Singapore port
Using such fuels can result in highly compromised combustion leading to engine and turbocharger damage.
FOBAS Alerts: Estonian Shale oil in VLSFO bunker fuel from ARA region
Historic evidence of causing problems due to sludging, particularly during purification and around filters.
FOBAS Alert: Off spec sediment bunker fuel from ARA region
Majority of these fuels have been VLSFO and ULSFO fuels which has higher risk of issues with instability.
FOBAS: Cat fines and Total Sediment Potential off specs at Singapore port
Singapore, Rotterdam and Antwerp saw most number of off-spec cases during 2H November show report.
FOBAS introduces Sediments & Wax Precipitation Point test for VLSFO
Labs now ready to provide additional test to help set an optimum fuel temperature for low viscosity fuels.
Effects of extraneous materials in bunker fuels overhyped, says FOBAS spokesman
‘Most marine fuels will contain extraneous materials of some type or another’ Douglas Raitt shares.
ISO 8217 standard not realistic for 0.5%S VLSFO, says bunker blending veteran
‘The situation now is fuels can have contaminants, but are also still “fit for purpose”,’ says Ara Barsamian, CEO of Refinery Automation Institute.
Certain IMO 2020 fuels prone to tank/pipework corrosion
Marine fuels blended by biodiesel, HSFO and distillates may form biofilm and clog up fuel filters, says LuminUltra.
FOBAS Alert: Off spec high sediment bunker fuels from Antwerp port
Fuels with high sediments can result in excessive sludge deposition in tanks, leading to blocked filters.
BP Singapore bunker trial nears end as legal reps present summary submissions
Lawyers of the ex-Regional Marine Manager of BP Singapore, the Executive Director of Pacific Prime Trading, and Deputy Public Prosecutors were present at the State Courts on Wednesday.
Vitol Group acquires Sinanju Tankers Holdings; gains foothold in Singapore bunker ops
The Singapore Bunkering license holding entity has been renamed Vitol Bunkers (S) Pte Ltd and from 1 April 2020 all bunker deliveries will be carried out by Vitol Bunkers (S) Pte Ltd.
PMI Trading responds to Nustar Energy over alleged off-spec bunker fuel supply at Houston
Seeks to enforce either arbitration clause under contract or to dismiss NuStar and TPP respective liability claims, according to documents obtained by Manifold Times.
‘Minimal disruption’ to Singapore bunkering operations despite COVID-19, confirms MPA
‘We are closely monitoring the rapidly developing COVID-2019 situation while remaining committed to working with the bunkering industry to ensure minimal disruption to bunkering operations and services.’
Photo Essay: “Marine Vicky” in multi-agency emergency preparedness exercise at Singapore port
The emergency preparedness exercise involving SCDF, PCG, MPA, and Sinanju was carried out on the LNG dual-fuel bunker tanker at Raffles Anchorage on 17 March, learned Manifold Times.
Singapore bunker players continue Business Continuity Plans in response to COVID-19
Manifold Times checks along the bunker supply chain on how various companies are managing operations after the republic entered DORSCON Orange in response to COVID-19.