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FOBAS releases joint industry guidance on supply and use of 0.50%S fuels

20 Aug 2019

The Lloyd’s Register Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS) on Tuesday (20 August) released a Joint Industry Guidance on the supply and use of 0.50% sulphur marine fuel.

Lloyds Register FOBAS actively contributed, through its participation within the ISO and CIMAC committees, throughout the development of this joint industry guidance with clients’ interests, it said.

The publication provides a comprehensive overview of the specific safety and operational challenges the industry is set to face with the supply and use of the 0.50% fuels.

The document also discusses key issues such as fuel compatibility, fuel stability, fuel handling and storage along with the controls that should be put in place to ensure that safety issues are identified, prevented and/or mitigated.

It does not address issues related to compliance with Port State, flag State, or other IMO rules or guidelines, also excluding the discussion of alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas, hydrogen or methanol.

A few key aspects of the publication are:

• Variability in fuel quality characteristics will be a challenge, which will require a transparent approach by the suppliers to be more forthcoming on the characteristics of the fuel to be supplied. This will enhance the crew’s knowledge of the fuel and enable them to apply a more focussed and proactive approach to management of the fuel being supplied.

• Compatibility between 0.50% sulphur blends from different sources can be a real concern which should be addressed through appropriate onboard fuel segregation policy. In situations where mixing is unavoidable, compatibility between the fuels needs to be assessed before deciding to mix. As a best practice approach, the available space for new bunkers to be loaded should be taken as the capacity of the empty tanks to avoid comingling on loading.

• There should be sufficient exchange of information between fuel suppliers, bunker purchase department and the vessel to help identify and manage key operational issues associated with the certain fuel characteristics.

The full Joint Industry Guidance can be downloaded here.

Published: 21 August, 2019

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