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Oshima Shipbuilding introduces ‘Super Eco Fuel’

07 Mar 2018

Japanese shipyard Oshima Shipbuilding and several industry partners, are testing a new self-developed bunker fuel that is able to meet the upcoming 0.5% sulphur cap by 2020, says classification society DNV GL.

The product, called Super Eco Fuel, is a blend between LCO (lightcycle oil, a secondary refinery product) with GTL (gas-to-liquid, a liquid fuel made from natural gas) and water.

The result is a fuel that requires no installation of new equipment while meeting nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx) limits.

According to DNV GL, LCO has a low sulphur content but poor ignition performance while GTL contains almost no sulphur or other impurities and features high ignition performance and a complete combustion process.

The two products, when mixed in the right quantities, will produce a fuel that is able to meet the 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap.

The addition of water into the mixture will result in a fuel that meets both the 0.1% emission control area (ECA) sulphur limit and NOx Tier III compliance standard.

Specific fuel oil consumption of the new product is slightly lower, with reduced CO2 emissions and soot formation.

“LCO and GTL can be stored separately in the normal fuel tanks. In addition, the fuel can be used in existing engines without modifications, making it relevant for retrofitting to existing ships. The fuel is mixed on board by a mixing unit,” says DNV GL.

“Preliminary tests of the fuel characteristics, engine performance and reliability have yielded satisfactory results. Further tests are planned.

“The largest challenges are the supply and bunkering of the individual fuel components, which must be addressed before the fuel will be accepted and used widely.

“Similar to other fuels there are uncertainties with price fluctuations over time. The cost of the new fuel mix is expected to be higher than standard HFO at current rates but lower than for other LSFO options, making it an attractive potential fuel alternative with marginal additional investment costs.”

Photo credit: DNV GL
Published: 7 March, 2018

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