Shipping firm Teekay Marine has released an “Innovation Opportunity” for IT firms to solve as part of Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2018, a six-month programme that aims to catalyse digital transformation in the maritime industry, was held in conjunction with the launch of PIER71.
In short, the firm is looking to use blockchain technology to share marine fuel test results at various points in bunker supply chain.
The challenge statement issued by Teekay Marine is as follows:
Fuel used by oil tankers is known as bunkers, which consist of residuals from crude oil distillation. These residuals contain impurities that can be detrimental to vessel engines operation and performance. Level of impurities exceeding specified limits can lead to increased maintenance cost and equipment breakdown.
There have been instances when disallowed chemicals in bunkers affected engine performance, causing problems like fuel pump seizure, main engine liner, piston ring wear and tear and breakage. In extreme cases of high impurities content, a costly de-bunkering operation (offloading bunker fuel from ships) is required.
Purifiers and filtering systems are used on board to minimise impurities before fuel is pumped, however these systems have limitations. Moreover, due to stringent IMO regulations imposing caps on sulphur dioxide and other emissions, fuel treatment is getting more complex. Lack of thorough fuel testing at source and missing transparency along the supply chain creates a domino effect of mixing various bunker products throughout.
Teekay Marine seeks solutions that leverage blockchain technology to incentivize interested and genuine parties to share critical information on fuel test results as well as products supplied at various points in the supply chain.
Another bunkering initiative has been suggested at SPC 2018.
Singapore-based bunker tanker operator Sinanju Tankers Holdings and shipping company Pacific Carriers Limited, has call for the development of a ‘real-time’ system to track the timing of vessel arrivals.
Published: 8 June, 2018
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