Recent off-spec bunker fuel cases at Houston have caught the attention of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) which has also issued an internal Marine Safety Alert titled: We’ve all experienced bad gas, but how about IFO 380?
“This safety alert raises awareness of a significant emerging problem in the U.S. Gulf Coast region regarding contaminated vessel fuel oil bunkers,” it says.
“This involves blended fuels oil such as Intermediate Fuel Oil (IFO 380) and has caused fouled fuel pump plungers, fuel pump seizures and other fuel system related failures.
“Furthermore, the fuel may increase sediment levels at separators and fuel filters and, in some cases, may completely clog filters. The standard fuel oil test methods found in the ISO 8217 specification will not detect these underlying problems.”
USCG referred to earlier discoveries made by fuel testing labs which found that phenolic compounds and long chain fatty acids present in the off-spec fuel.
The contaminant was identified as phenolic compound 4-Cumyl-Phenol (CAS No. 599-64-4) and all fuel oil samples were found to be in the concentration range of 300ppm to 1,000ppm.
4-CumylPhenol has many industrial applications due to its adhesive qualities including the manufacture of epoxy resins as well as is used as an emulsifier in pesticides.
Sampling and analysis has determined this contamination is not limited to one fuel supplier but exists across many.
“No definitive source has been identified but it’s presumed to be associated with the use of fuel oil cutter stocks,” it says.
“Cutter stocks are generally lighter petroleum products that are added to heavy fuel to reduce its viscosity.
“This fuel oil contamination could lead to engine failures and associated losses of propulsion potentially having catastrophic and wide ranging consequences.”
Moving forward, USCG recommends vessel owners and managers to ensure vessel operators are made aware of the potential hazardous condition, closely monitor fuel oil system components and consult their bunker suppliers and other technical service providers regarding the issue.
Specifically, it advises vessel owners and operators to:
Published: 13 June, 2018
Firm hopes to leverage partnership in Greece as a springboard to expand into neighbouring and overseas markets including Europe and China, says Robin Van Elderen, Regional Head Bunkers, Europe, Sing Fuels.
Singapore can help less developed countries in SouthEast Asia through ‘piloting and scaling fuels and technology as well as a leading hub for green finance’, said DNV Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen.
Octamar™ Ultra HF, Octamar™ Complete, and Octamar™ F35C were found to have improved the fuel economy while reducing exhaust gas and other emissions of marine engines in a series of trials, states report.
Disposal of evidence has resulted in Singapore not being able to provide full details to the United Nationals Panel of Experts which sought information regarding the case, says Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
‘We are proud to be amongst the first to show the successful steps taken by Singapore’s bunkering ecosystem to remain forward thinking and relevant,’ Choong Sheen Mao, Director of EMF, tells Manifold Times.
‘With the launch of a common data infrastructure, Kenoil aims to continue achieving an end to end visibility and transparency on the bunker data supply chain,’ states Kenoil Managing Director.