EMMF: Fuel Sulphur Cap Alternatives Must be Developed

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
ExxonMobil Marine Fuels (EMMF), a world leading supplier of marine fuels, has warned that alternatives to a pure sulphur cap on fuels need to be investigated, made workable and used, if serious pitfalls are to be avoided. Steve Walker, Global Technical Manager of EMMF, told the recent International Bunker Conference in Rotterdam that, while any move to ensure cleaner air should be welcomed, the current EC proposal for amendment of the Sulphur in Liquid Fuels Directive has yet to look in depth at the real effect it will have on the end-user. Walker explained that, for internationally trading vessels, the current proposal would involve having three grades of fuel – 4.5 per cent sulphur bunker fuel, 1.5 per cent sulphur bunker fuel, and 0.2 per cent sulphur gas oil - in terminals and on board ships. While acknowledging that changing from high-sulphur to low-sulphur fuel oil of the same viscosity was not a problem, he warned that changing from fuel oil to gas oil raised a number of potential difficulties, including thermal shock of fuel system components, and a loss of power and manoeuvrability as a result of the system gassing-up. “How long will it be after implementation of the legislation,” he asked, “before the root cause of a casualty is noted as loss of main engine power caused by gassing-up of the vessel’s fuel oil system?” Walker added, “Of more concern is the potential safety issue of changing over boiler plant from fuel oil to gas oil firing. Many tankers have boilers to drive their cargo plant, and many LNG carriers use boilers to drive steam turbine propulsion systems. Under the proposed legislation, these vessels would have to fire their boilers on 0.2 per cent sulphur fuel whilst alongside in Europe. “Introducing diesel into a hot furnace could be dangerous if extreme care is not taken to ensure that the boiler furnace is correctly purged of all gases. Even then, if the fuel does not light off immediately, it will vaporise and could result in a furnace explosion and catastrophic failure of the boiler itself.” Noting also that the question of segregating and carrying three grades of fuels raised serious difficulties for shipowners, Walker concluded that alternatives to a pure sulphur cap needed to be explored. He noted that initial findings suggested that new-generation exhaust gas scrubbers, although significant in terms of capital outlay, could achieve major reductions in emissions levels while also addressing NOx emissions, provided it is demonstrated that sea water scrubbing is acceptable with respect to sea water pollution. And he said, “It is not all doom and gloom. Engines using low-sulphur fuel on a permanent basis will be able to use lube oils with a lower TBN additive package and, as a result, may be less expensive. Engine components should last longer, and fuel-testing agencies are likely to benefit from a boom in work. And, above all, if the legislation works, we will all have cleaner air to breathe.”
Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Fuels & Lubes

Marquette Transportation Reportedly for Sale

Marquette Transportation Company LLC, a U.S. towboat operator, is exploring a sale that could value it at more than $1 billion and has attracted the interest of

Tohoku Electric's LNG Buy Sets Asian Spot Level

Japanese utility Tohoku Electric has purchased an LNG cargo for delivery in the third week of March at a price in the low $7 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) range,

Cosco Profits Boosted by Low Fuel Prices

China Cosco Holdings ended 2014 in profitable territory, growing its net earnings by 50 percent to $56 million on the back of cost cuts, improved revenue and lower bunker fuel prices.

Salvage

Fugitive Treasure Hunter Arrested in Florida

An Ohio man who recovered as much as $400 million in gold from a shipwreck has been arrested in Florida after two years on the run and was scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday.

ms Veendam Rescues Pilot Off Maui Coast, Hawaii

On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, at 5:21 p.m. local time while en route to Lahaina, Hawaii, Holland America Line’s ms Veendam answered a request for assistance from

ASA Mission Statement Revised to Expand Reach

The American Salvage Association has revised its mission statement to increase its area of influence beyond North America, complemented by a new logo that reflects the expanded direction.

 
 
Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1256 sec (8 req/sec)