Meeting Quantity And Quality Challenge Remains Priority For Shipping Industry

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OW Bunker highlights potential for Mass Flow Meters at customer event in Copenhagen and shows how onboard blending and monitoring processes ensure product quality

OW Bunker, one of the world’s leading suppliers and traders of marine fuel oil, highlighted today the impact that mass flow meters can have in solving the ‘quantity issue’ and demonstrated the steps that it is taking to ensure product quality in an event attended by key customers including DFDS, Maersk Oil, Odfjell Tankers, U-Sea Bulk, Grieg Star Shipping and Torvald Klaveness Group.
The event, which took place in Copenhagen, invited over 100 customers and industry opinion formers to see a live demonstration, presented by OW Bunker’s Technical Director, Steffen Kortegaard, of how a mass flow meter works on board one of its vessels, OW Copenhagen.
The event also demonstrated OW Bunker’s ability to conduct online blending, negating the need for tank blending, which ensures that air is not injected into the product.  The company’s online monitoring of fuel oil quality also ensures that the viscosity and density of the products that are supplied are within the appropriate specifications.  Both methods ensure that there is full control over the blending process and that the sulphur content can be measured very accurately; a prerequisite given the current and impending regulatory pressures.
Mass flow meters provide the most sophisticated, quick and accurate method of measuring the amount of fuel oil that is transferred during the bunkering process.  The quantity is measured as the force of the fuel oil flows through vibrating tubes.  Sensors and transmitters are then used to generate a linear flow signal, which is linked to software located in the bridge, which monitors the exact amount of fuel oil taken on board.  As well as ensuring the quantity of fuel oil delivered, using a mass flow meter creates a faster and smoother bunker delivery process between the bunker barge and the receiving vessel, and makes life easier for both crews, which increases productivity and overall efficiencies within a ship owner’s/operator’s operations; a premium commodity in today’s market.
“Ensuring ship owners and operators receive the right quantity of bunker fuel that is ordered has been an age-long issue within shipping,” said Per Søholt, Director, Supply Chain Management, DFDS A/S, one of Northern Europe’s leading integrated shipping and transportation networks.
“It is clear that embracing technology and innovation is one way of successfully meeting this challenge.  OW Bunker’s adoption and demonstration of the practical capabilities of mass flow meters is a clear example of what is possible in meeting this challenge and it fundamentally shows the commitment and responsibility that quality fuel suppliers should have in driving positive change within the market,” continued Søholt.
OW Bunker pioneered the initial adoption of mass flow meters, when it installed the technology on vessels within its global fleet five years ago in order to ensure and further enhance its quality control processes.  Based on the positive results, the company believes that over time, the technology could become an ‘industry standard’ for fuel suppliers as a means of helping customers to drive further efficiencies within their operations, and continuing to increase professionalism in bunkering.  This was endorsed by Maersk Oil - an OW Bunker customer – when it recently advocated the use of mass flow meters, which it has installed on 50 vessels, which it believes will bring new levels of transparency and efficiency to the bunker industry1.

Despite this, many suppliers within the industry continue to use manual tank gauging and sounding on a widespread basis.  Mass flow meters also supersede - particularly in relation to the ease of installation and price - positive displacement flow meters.
“As well as improving professional and operational standards, mass flow meters provide the opportunity to increase the level of trust between fuel suppliers and their customers,” says Steffen Kortegaard, Technical Director, OW Bunker.
“We must constantly look to innovate as a means of progression and meeting some of the industry’s key challenges.  Our event has provided the opportunity to show our customers the commitment that we have in meeting our obligations in pioneering positive change.”

Source: OW Bunker

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