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VPS provides update on bunker fuel contamination cases in Singapore

11 Apr 2022

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Monday (11 April) provided an update on findings regarding contaminated bunkers delivered to vessels in the port of Singapore, following an earlier notice.

Following its bunker alerts issued on the 11 and 31 March 2022, VPS can confirm it has now identified 60 vessels that have received High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) deliveries containing chlorinated hydrocarbons bunkered in the port of Singapore.

Each of these deliveries were made from two suppliers and 12 delivery barges, between mid-February to mid-March 2022 and contained chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants of up to 2,000ppm.

VPS also confirms, no new reports have been received from vessels experiencing, seriously damaging effects due to these bunker fuel contaminations, other than the 14 originally reported in our press release of 31 March.

“We have now identified a significant quantity of bunker fuel, 140,170 metric tonnes to be precise, that has been contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons. This equates to $120 million at current market value,” stated VPS CEO Malcolm Cooper.

“We would advise our customers to be very aware that this contaminated fuel remains in the supply chain and could potentially be reused or re-blended for use as a bunker fuel. The best mitigating measure to prevent the risk of receiving and using this fuel, is to test at the point of bunkering.

“However, as shown in this case, standard ISO8217 test methods are not sufficient to detect these contamination events. VPS therefore strongly recommend GCMS screening as the most effective method of detecting chemical contaminants in bunker fuel including chlorinated hydrocarbons.”

The chlorinated hydrocarbons detected by VPS in these bunker fuel samples are listed in the table below:

Gard, the largest member within the International Group of P&I Clubs, recently referenced VPS and our findings and provided their Key Recommendations to their members:


Additional testing services from VPS, such as GCMS, can and will, provide many benefits and added value to ship operators in reducing the numerous risks associated with today’s marine fuels.

For further information please contact Steve Bee, Group Commercial Director at [email protected].

Related: VPS identifies potential bunker fuel contamination crisis unfolding at Singapore
Related: Gard members and clients find chlorinated hydrocarbons in Singapore bunkers


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 11 April, 2022

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