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FOBAS: Low Flash Point MGO Fuels in Naples and Salerno

18 May 2023

Lloyd’s Register Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS) on Wednesday (17 May) released a bulletin highlighting it found low flash point MGO bunker fuels in Naples and Salerno and gave recommendations on a course of actions to be taken by shipowners: 

In the last month FOBAS has tested a number of samples from Naples and Salerno, which were ordered and supplied as DMA grade fuel however had tested flash points that were below the 60°C SOLAS minimum limit. Tested results range from 57 to 59.5 °C. The SOLAS convention does not give any test margin for error rather a strict pass/fail so any result below 60°C even marginally is considered off-spec and in non- compliant with the convention.

This represents a very small number of samples in comparison to the total number of bunker deliveries in Italy in the same date range and although this could represent a trend which we wish to bring to your attention, this alert does not reflect on the overall quality of fuel being supplied in Italy.

In such cases, as a first step we recommend that best practice safety guidelines should be followed to reduce the potential risk due to low flash point fuel. Secondly vessels should contact the ships Flag State, insurance underwriters and classification society immediately for further advice.

Further storage tank sample should also be taken and tested to confirm results and particularly as results are close to the limit, identify if any increase in flash point to within the limit has occurred.

If your ships are planning to bunker at Naples, Salerno or any nearby port, we recommend that suppliers are advised of your concerns regarding the flash point of the fuel and that they provide you with additional reassurance that they will meet the ISO 8217/SOLAS requirements for the grade ordered.

Additional attention should be given to the collection of bunker samples. It should be ensured that all parties have witnessed the sampling process and have signed witness forms accordingly, and that the supporting documentation includes records of all the samples considered representative of the fuel as loaded.


Photo credit: Hans Reniers
Published: 18 May, 2023

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