Insatech Bunker Control System Catches Fuel Quantity Cheating

MarineLink.com
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Alan Christoffersen, Insatech CEO

Cheating of fuel quantity during bunker operations is a considerable problem and may result in many vessels being invoiced for more fuel than they have actually received. Since fuel costs constitute 50-70% of a ship’s total operational costs, small differences become large extra costs. The Insatech Bunker Control System provides the crew, operators and shipping companies with safe monitoring of oil transfer and true knowledge of the transferred amount, ensuring that they do not pay for more than they receive.

In June 2013 Insatech Bunker Control System showed that the receiving vessel had been delivered 53.3 metric tons short during bunkering. On the receiving vessel, a Yokogawa Coriolis mass flow meter, of the type Rotamass, was installed and controlled by a Bunker Control System from Insatech A/S.

Measurement results from the bunker operation:
-Vessel sounding: 818.1 MT
-Barge measurement: 820.3 MT

The two measured and afterward calculated values are corresponding to standard information level on a barge to vessel transfer, and give no rise to concern. However, the vessel had a mass flow meter installed, and its reading showed:
-Mass flow meter: 767 MT

The difference in barge figures is 820.3 – 767 = 53.3 MT. Or, when converted into USD 600/MT = the price of $31,980

Why the different measurement values?
The Insatech Bunker Control System registered what the manual sounding did not have a chance to observe, i.e., that the barge during operation switched tank and left the valve from the empty tank just a little bit open. The Insatech Bunker Control System will, by detecting the mass, not the volume, provide you with a valid and reliable measurement. In other words, when calculating from volume to metric tons, the barge and vessel are using the wrong reference which becomes clear when you go through the collected data from the bunker control. Therefore, the Insatech Bunker Control System is right when it claims you have been delivered 53.3 metric tons short equivalent to $31,980. To have an Insatech Bunker Control System installed on your ship will help you in case you need to prove that you have received less fuel than you paid for. The golden rule of bunker disputes is:

“The success of any bunker quality and quantity dispute will depend upon the quality of the evidence collected in support of the claim."

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