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ISO 8217 standard not realistic for 0.5%S VLSFO, says bunker blending veteran

25 Nov 2019

The bunker fuel standard ISO 8217:2017 and the accompanying ISO/PAS 23263 is unrealistic for 0.5%S VLSFO due to the lack of quantification, believes the CEO of New Jersey-based international blending advisory company Refinery Automation Institute, LLC.

Ara Barsamian made the comment during the Operations & Logistics – Fuels & Lubricants panel session at the Bunker Fuel & Ballast Water Compliance Conference (BuBWCE) earlier in November.

“ISO 8217 is dear to my heart because it has been kept like relic as it does not reflect the new reality of the mess compliant fuels that we already have will introduce post 2020,” he told delegates at the Conference Connection Organised event.

To date, there are three very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) bunker types being used in the market, according to Barsamian.

Marine fuels ranging from 5 to 50 centistokes (cSt) are highly paraffinic and prone to compatibility and instability issues; products from 80 to 120 cSt are highly aromatic and less prone to compatibility and instability issues; while grades from 180 to 380 cSt could face potential problems when used as fuels, depending on the blend formulation.

“Right now, we have a situation in which we do not readily have any 2020 compliant fuel specification we can use on our business,” he believes, suggesting ISO 8217 parameters to be too vague.

“It just works. But do we have quantification? No. It is not enough to be have a ‘go or no go’, ‘yes or no’ type of answer. If you are stuck in the middle of  Indian ocean you only have yourself to blame. Even though we have all the [ISO 8217] rules at our disposal, you still need to have quantification.

“The situation now is fuels can have contaminants, but are also still ‘fit for purpose’. Would you like to have a specification for commercial jet fuels where it is ‘fit for use’ under Clause 5?”

Photo credit: Conference Connection
Published: 25 November, 2019


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