Lintec reported that 13.7 percent of all samples it tested exceed at least one parameter requirement in 2003. This represents a 4.5 percent increase in off-spec results over 2002. And Lintec believes that deteriorating marine fuel quality is a long-term global trend.
In the latest issue of its Testing Times newsletter, Lintec says: "Marine fuel quality is likely to decrease further in years to come. The oil producers will find better and more efficient refining techniques to help
them maximise output of white products and this will leave an ever deteriorating residual stream of fuel products for the shipping industry."
However, Lintec also makes clear that an off-spec result does not necessarily mean there is a critical problem.
Detailing its analysis, Lintec says only 3 per cent of its test results in 2003 represented a problem that could potentially cause significant operational difficulties.
Also in Testing Times, Lintec says that standards such as Singapore's CP60 and CP77 should be welcomed by the shipping industries.
According to John Dixon, Lintec's managing director: "Minimum standards, implemented by recognized authorities, focus suppliers on providing good quality fuel. They also help to determine accountability in the event of a problem."
During 2003 Lintec saw a 25 percent growth, both in terms of the number of tests and in the number of ships the samples came from.