Best prac­tices

Fuel qual­ity is­sues are here to stay

Maritime Gateway - - Contents -

As the trade grows in South Asia there is also an in­creased fo­cus on pro­vid­ing bunker­ing ser­vices and this also brings into fo­cus the qual­ity of fuel as the in­dus­try at the global level is con­scious about re­duc­ing emis­sions of ships that move about 90 per cent of the global exim cargo. Bring­ing to the fore global bunker­ing trends and their im­pact on the best prac­tices to be im­ple­mented in the ship­ping in­dus­try, Capt. Rahul Choud­huri, MD – AMEA, Ver­i­tas Petroleum Ser­vices dis­cussed about the fuel qual­ity is­sues and fuel check­ing sys­tems.

Go­ing by the vol­umes, bunker vol­umes in In­dia are five times less than China, seven times less than Korea and UAE and 25 times less than Sin­ga­pore. Fo­cus­ing on the hotspots of con­cen­trated fuel qual­ity de­faults on global ba­sis, Capt. Rahul un­der­lined cer­tain trends with dis­til­late fu­els such as the con­sis­tency with low flash point dis­til­lates, low vis­cos­ity dis­til­lates and high pour point dis­til­lates. Even heavy fuel oils are char­ac­terised by pres­ence of high sed­i­ments, den­sity and chem­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion. So the con­clu­sion is, “Fuel qual­ity is­sues are here to stay, they are global in na­ture and we need to find a so­lu­tion to it.” Sur­pris­ingly it is noted that fuel qual­ity is­sues are less present in In­dia and Sri Lanka com­pared to other parts of the globe.

To main­tain qual­ity of fuel Capt. Rahul high­lighted the ISO8217-2017 qual­ity stan­dards that are re­cently launched and the in­dus­try should start fol­low­ing these stan­dards, up­grad­ing from the ISO8217-2015 stan­dards that are cur­rently in use. Mov­ing to fuel sys­tem check, he said that 15 per cent of the global fuel oil ex­ceed the qual­ity spec­i­fi­ca­tions in terms of Alu­minium and Sil­i­con lev­els. Even the ef­fi­ciency of fuel pu­ri­fiers used is not up to the mark. Fuel pu­ri­fiers cur­rently in use are 57 per cent ef­fi­cient while they need to be 85 per cent ef­fi­cient.

Sin­ga­pore has adapted mass flow me­ter­ing to stop il­le­gal fuel prac­tices and im­prove fuel ef­fi­ciency. Ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the quan­tity of fuel is also es­sen­tial as 0.5 per cent de­vi­a­tion in fuel quan­tity causes an av­er­age loss of $20,000 for a ship on an an­nual ba­sis. To­wards the con­clu­sion Capt. Rahul high­lighted five is­sues to be watched for:

• Fuel qual­ity knows no lo­ca­tion

• Watch out for dis­til­late qual­ity

• Fuel sys­tem check pro­gramme needs to be im­proved • Mass fuel flow me­ter needs to be checked

• Watch for chem­i­cal con­tam­i­na­tion.

Capt. Rahul Choud­huri, MD – AMEA, Ver­i­tas Petroleum Ser­vices

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