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

First LNG-powered EcoLiner Launched

Europe’s greenest inland vessel debuts Damen group innovations   Damen Shipyards Group launched the first LNG-powered Damen EcoLiner inland shipping tanker

Wärtsilä, CME Offer ‘Scrubber Finance’

Funding concept promotes installation of scrubber systems by offering financing to shipowners, with returns taken from fuel price spread   In a move intended

New Tool for Recovering Oil from Sunken Wrecks

A tool for removing oil trapped in submerged vessels has been developed in Norway by design specialists Miko Marine.   The launch of the Moskito aims to address

Salvage

IACS Comments on MOL Comfort Report

The International Association of Classifications Societies (IACS) informs it will study the final report issued in Japan by the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety (CLCSS),

Houston Ship Channel Reopens After Ships Collide

The Houston Ship Channel has reopened after a collision between a container ship and a chemical tanker, according to a spokesman with the United States Coast Guard.

New Tool for Recovering Oil from Sunken Wrecks

A tool for removing oil trapped in submerged vessels has been developed in Norway by design specialists Miko Marine.   The launch of the Moskito aims to address

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.2114 sec (5 req/sec)