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Innospec: Slow steaming offers economic and environmental rewards, but not without sacrifices

While slow steaming may help save fuel cost and lowers emissions, it may end up being a costly endeavour for ship owners. Innospec suggests looking at smart slow steaming instead, shares Nicea Ng.




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Slow steaming is often considered the easiest solution for overcoming both economic and environmental challenges.

However, doing so without risking the safety and long term efficiency of ships needs careful consideration by ship owners and operators, shares Nicea Ng, Marine Technical Specialist, Innospec Limited.

“Every vessel has an optimum engine load where the combustion is almost complete and the SFOC (Specific Fuel Oil Consumption) is at minimum level,” states Ng.

“When an engine is running on a low load condition, the cylinder pressure and temperatures are lower which leads to poorer ignition and incomplete combustion of bunker fuel.

“Though reducing speed offers a better CII rating; this may also lead to energy and combustion efficiency losses that cause preventable damage to vessel machinery.

“Vessels with high engine output will need costly retrofit solutions with high CAPEX in order to permanently work at lower loads.

“From experience, slow steaming usually results in a variety of negative effect on vessel engines.”

Adverse effects of slow steaming on ship engines

Poor Atomisation

Higher volume of fuel trapped at the injector tip (sac) delivering uncalculated fuel to the cylinder and increasing the likelihood of dripping. Increased fouling and carbon deposits all contribute to poor atomisation and subsequent drop in performance.

Poor Combustion Characteristics

At reduced ME load operation, inadequate turbo charger speeds are generated to provide adequate air to the combustion chamber, leading to lower combustion efficiency, unburnt fuel and the formation of harmful emissions.

Reduced Air Flow

Reduces engine efficiency and causes fouling in the air supply/scavenge system. Subsequently this can lead to very high differential and exhaust temperatures which can damage engine components and lead to burned exhaust valve as one example.

Cold Corrosion

Corrosive wear on the cylinder liners caused by acid condensation due to the drop in engine operation temperature caused by slow steaming operation.

Fouling Effect

On Turbocharger (turbine side),

  • On Exhaust Gas Boiler (heat exchanger pipes)
  • On Injector (clogged nozzles),
  • On Piston rings (deposit accumulation - lack of sealing)
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T/C Untreated fuel
Picture 2
T/C treated fuel with Octamar

‘Smart slow steaming’ with Octamar™ Ultra HF & Octamar™ Complete – fuel treatment systems with Class Verification

Combustion catalysts have a positive impact on the fuel’s combustion profile by providing a faster and more complete combustion of regular fuel at any load condition.

With a significant reduction in uncaptured fuel energy, vessels have seen 2.1-3.9% fuel savings which have contributed to better CII ratings.

“Even till today, issues with slow steaming have remained the same. However, with new regulations and changes in fuel quality over the years, Innospec continues to improve its technology to optimise today’s marine fuel,” informed Ng.

“Octamar™ Ultra HF & Octamar™ Complete allows vessels to slow steam with associated benefits by minimising the adverse effects listed above while improving fuel consumption and emissions.”

The unique treatment package improves energy efficiency of ships by reducing ignition delay, cleaning injectors, and reducing afterburn to mitigate all the issues associated with slow steaming while decreasing combustion properties and early max heat release to maintain energy efficiency.

Screenshot 2023 05 29 at 12.25.22 PM

“ClassNK has also verified several trials conducted over a decade which demonstrated the active fuel consumption (2.1-3.9%) and emissions reduction of Octamar™ technology,” she highlights adding the Octamar ™ solution can be further included in vessels’ SEEMP III.

Screenshot 2023 05 29 at 12.25.40 PM
horizontal innospec info

Note: Readers may contact Innospec Limited for more information on Octamar™ Ultra HF & Octamar™ Complete at: [email protected]

Related: Innospec Inc. retains Gold rating from EcoVadis for sustainability performance
Related: ClassNK verifies improved engine performance data of Innospec Octamar™ Combustion Catalyst Series
Related: Innospec Fuel Specialties technical bulletin: Considerations when heating VLSFO and Case Studies
Related: Innospec Fuel Specialties technical bulletin: Why are there no Cold Flow Improvers (CFI) for VLSFO?
Related: Innospec Octamar HF-10 Plus receives ClassNK certification for VLSFO stability performance
Related: Innospec highlights important overview on handling fuel instability issue of VLSFO|
Related: Innospec launches Octamar™ series of additives for new blends of IMO 2020 bunker fuels

Photo credit: Innospec/ Shaah Shahidh on Unsplash
Published: 29 May, 2023

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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.






Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.






Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.


Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.





Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.


Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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