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VPS identifies new bunker fuel contamination at Houston

VPS detected presence of Dicyclopentadiene and associated isomers at significantly high levels in VLSFO bunker fuel deliveries in Houston; 11 vessels using this fuel have reported loss of power and propulsion.

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Marine fuels testing company VPS on Monday (10 July) said it has identified via its fuel testing services, a new marine fuel contamination issue in Houston. 

VPS detected the presence of Dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and associated isomers at significantly high levels in VLSFO bunker fuel deliveries in Houston. These chemical contaminants were detected using in-house GC-MS (Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometer) analytical methodologies. VPS has issued a Bunker Alert to its customers referring to these fuel deliveries made by a single supplier during the months of March to May 2023. Problems associated with these bunkers occurred after this fuel was combusted several weeks after bunkering.

Eleven vessels using this fuel have now reported loss of power and subsequent loss of propulsion whilst at sea. These effects resulted from fuel leakage in the ICU (Injection Control Unit) units and fuel pumps not being able to develop the required fuel pressure. Both main and auxiliary engines were affected although failures to auxiliary engines were more commonly reported.

One VPS customer highlighted the issues they encountered when using this Houston VLSFO: the first sign of problems after changing over to this fuel was the failure of the fuel pump and fuel injectors of the auxiliary engines. All the three auxiliary engines subsequently faced the same issues and was unable to produce the required power resulting in a complete blackout and loss of propulsion. The auxiliary engine pumps exhibited significant leakage and the fuel injectors were ceased. Both, fuel pumps and fuel injectors required repeated replacement until no spares remained.

This customer also reported that this fuel had a significant impact on the purification system. It was noted that the purifiers could not remove the high cat fines that were present in the fuel under normal engine operating speed. To keep the purifier operational, main engines required running at low rpm than normal, to reduce the fuel consumption thereby reducing the purifier feed-rate.

Due to restrictions in power, the vessel had restricted manoeuvrability as they could not operate their thrusters. The vessel had to change to LSMGO (Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil) to arrive safely to the port.

VPS identifies new bunker fuel contamination at Houston

DCPD’s are unsaturated chemical compounds which can polymerise and oxidise under certain conditions. However, the rate of this polymerisation process can be reduced by the presence of inhibitors that are typically found within fuel oil.

Should these compounds start polymerising, the fuel begins to exhibit a level of stickiness and become more viscous, making it difficult for moving components, such as fuel pump plungers and the fuel injector spindles to move freely. These effects cause damage to the fuel injection system. Over a period of time excessive sludge formation is likely to be experienced.

The DCPD compounds that were detected in this fuel ranged from 3,000 to 7,000 ppm (0.3-0.7%).

A number of vessels, had been pre-warned by VPS of the potential high-concentration DCPD contamination of their fuel, via a “Caution” result from the VPS Chemical Screening service, highlighting the value of this pre-burn service provided by VPS.

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 11 July, 2023

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Winding up

Singapore: Liquidators arrange creditors meeting for Otto Marine Limited

Meeting will be held from 3pm on 24 July at 8 Wilkie Road #03-08 Wilkie Edge Singapore 228095, according to Government Gazette notice.

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A meeting for creditors of Otto Marine Limited, which is in liquidation, has been scheduled to take place on 24 July, according to a Government Gazette notice on Thursday (11 July). 

The meeting will be held from 3pm at 8 Wilkie Road #03-08 Wilkie Edge Singapore 228095

The agenda of the meeting will be as follows:

  • To update on the liquidation administration;
  • To approve the Liquidators’ fees and disbursements;
  • To approve the declaration of preferential dividend(s) pursuant to Section
  • 328(1)(b) to 328(1)(f) of the Companies Act, Cap. 50;
  • To consider and if thought fit, to appoint a committee of inspection; and
  • Any other business.

The details of the liquidators are as follows: 

Chee Yoh Chuang
Lin Yueh Hung
Liquidators
c/o 8 Wilkie Road
#03-08 Wilkie Edge
Singapore 228095

 

Photo credit: steve pb from Pixabay
Published: 12 July, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Titan completes first STS LNG bunkering operation in Cuxhaven

Port of Cuxhaven in Germany had previously only seen LNG operations conducted via truck and currently only permits LNG bunkering at one berth, says Titan.

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Titan completes first STS LNG bunkering operation in Cuxhaven

LNG bunker fuel supplier Titan on Thursday (11 July) said it completed the first-ever LNG bunkering operation by ship in the port of Cuxhaven.

Titan’s bunker vessel Optimus successfully delivered LNG to dredger Vox Ariane operated by its long-term client Van Oord. 

“Our ship-to-ship bunkering in Cuxhaven represents a pioneering step in the region's LNG infrastructure development, as the port had previously only seen LNG operations conducted via truck and currently only permits LNG bunkering at one berth,” it said in a social media post. 

“LNG infrastructure development is part of a broader trend, with more ports across Germany adopting LNG operations to support shipping’s clean fuels transition.”

Titan added the improved LNG bunkering capabilities in Cuxhaven, a Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG port, also opened up the pathway to maritime decarbonisation via liquified biomethane (LBM) and then renewable e-methane going forward.

 

Photo credit: Titan
Published: 12 July, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

UECC “Auto Achieve” receives first LNG bunker fuel delivery by barge in home country

Firm said it received the first ever supply of LNG by barge to their multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid car carrier in the Port of Drammen, Norway.

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UECC “Auto Achieve” receives first LNG bunker fuel delivery by barge in home country

Norwegian roll-on/roll-off shipping line United European Car Carriers (UECC) on Wednesday (10 July) said it received the first ever supply of LNG by barge to their multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid car carrier Auto Achieve in the Port of Drammen on 4 July.

The firm said this was the first time UECC received LNG by barge to any of their vessels in their home country Norway. 

“We also believe that it was the first time LNG was delivered by barge to any vessel in Drammen, and most likely the entire Oslofjord,” UECC said in a social media post.

The LNG was supplied by the Molgas Energy Holding vessel Pioneer Knutsen, owned by Knutsen Group OAS.

“UECC is very pleased to see the expansion of the LNG barge network in Norway,” it said. 

 

Photo credit: UECC
Published: 12 July, 2024

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