Receipts Must Show True Sulphur Content

Friday, July 17, 2009

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has warned its members of the dangers arising from the failure on the part of some suppliers to put authentic sulphur content results on Bunker Delivery Receipts.

IBIA chief executive Ian Adams said, “Clearly this is not in compliance with MARPOL requirements and may create a problem for shipowners in terms of the selection of correct feed rates and Total Base Numbers (TBN) of cylinder oil.

“Knowing the sulphur content of the fuel to be used is essential to engine efficiency and overall safety, and furthermore necessary to remain within the specific requirements applicable in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs). The sulphur content of the fuel should always be clearly stated on the BDR.”

IBIA emphasizes that the ship’s chief engineer should be vigilant in studying the BDR sulphur result and then using the appropriate cylinder oil feed rate and TBN oil. “Engine manufacturer information should be obtained on this, and followed carefully to avoid engine problems when using low-sulphur fuel,” said Adams.

“Of course, in some ports, low-sulphur fuel is delivered even when it has not been specifically requested, because low-sulphur is the only type of fuel available in those places. Given the way in which fuel is traded, this can happen almost anywhere. For example, some ports in South America, West Africa and, in some instances, Canada, only have residual fuels with sulphur content of less than 1.0%m/m readily available.

“It is worth noting that if a BDR has the sulphur reported as less than 4.5%m/m and yet the sulphur content is known to be less than 1.5%m/m, some administrations may still not consider this fuel compliant for ECA operations, so it is essential for ships to ensure that the actual sulphur content is reported on the BDR.”

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