International marine consultancy, surveying and inspection service provider Viking Marine Services (VMS) is planning to expand its bunker surveying service to three ports in 2019.
“We see the demand from our clients to be represented at these locations, supporting the expansion,” says Captain Vikram Mohan, Managing Director of VMS.
According to Captain Vikram, VMS ensures quality control by hand picking its staff for overseas assignments.
“For our current Cyprus and Gibraltar bunker surveying operations we select our own guys either from Fujairah, India or Singapore and place them at these ports,” he notes.
“Bunkering operations at Singapore port these days typically come down to a couple of tonnes difference [between delivery and receiving vessel] and we want to make sure this happens in other ports as well by thoroughly checking the bunker barges.”
“The recent marine fuel contamination scene has died down and we are seeing significantly less requests from a monthly peak of around 30 bunker sampling operations earlier in the year,” adds Navin Singh, Quality Manager at VMS.
“However, we are expecting more issues with marine fuel sampling jobs by 2020 – a period where we believe the role of surveyors to be even more important than ever as a properly taken representative bunker sample will be a key factor in helping stakeholders take position in fuel quality disputes.”
VMS surveyors are trained to check sampling on the bunker manifold every hour for large bunker stems, and every 30 to 45 minutes during smaller deliveries.
“The most important start to quality claims is the representative sample. An analysis report, regardless of issuing party, is only as good as the sample; if you get a good sample you get a good result,” explains Singh.
In addition, Singh points out the location of the taken bunker sample to be another key factor in bunker disputes.
“The shipowner will say receiving vessel manifold is representative while the bunker supplier will say sample drawn on their manifold is representative; this has to be pre-determined prior to contract which sample is representative,” he says.
“This is what we at Viking Marine Services do, which is educating people on the dos and don’ts on bunkers.
“We are a ‘new age’ company and we believe bunker surveying to be just a part of services we should provide.”
Photo credit: Viking Marine Services
Published: 10 December, 2018
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