Don’t Forget: Seawater is a Free EAL

By Maritime Reporter & Engineering News
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Typical netting and rope around rotating shaft damages aft seal.

If your vessel is trading in U.S. waters, you need to be aware of the new oil to sea interface law that comes into effect on Dec. 19, 2013.  According to the new U.S. Environment Protection Agency Vessel General Permit (VGP), all vessels built on or after Dec. 19, 2013, must use an environmentally acceptable lubricant (EAL) in all oil to sea interfaces.  For all vessels built before this date, unless technically not feasible, ship owners must use an EAL in all oil to sea interfaces. Additional information on the EPA’s VGP can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/vessels/vgpermit.cfm#final.
Most ships use mineral oil to lubricate the propeller shaft, and the oil is contained in the stern tube by the aft seal – which is the oil to sea interface. In most cases, you cannot simply replace the mineral oil with seawater or other oil-based EAL’s. Oil-based EALs need to be compatible with the sealing materials to ensure leakage is controlled – shipowners will need to check with their seal supplier and it may be necessary to upgrade the sealing rings or upgrade to a new seal. Typically, costs of oil-based EAL’s are 3-5 times more expensive than mineral oils. If you are using an air seal, you are still required to use an oil-based EAL, as it is not possible to guarantee that oil leakage will never occur.
Still a concern for ship owners is that oil-based EALs are still considered a pollutant under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) and U.S. Clean Water Act (if there is a sheen). Any discharges of oil-based EALs still require reporting of the discharge to the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as having clean-up and remediation costs. Even though biodegradable lubricants may be deemed non-toxic by OECD testing, their presence on the water surface is a threat to seabirds.
For newbuildings, some ship owners are specifying seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing systems, as more than 600 commercial ships are using a seawater-lubricated system that uses no oil – meaning full compliance with the VGP. (Some shipowners such as Princess Cruises, COSCO, Disney Cruise Lines, U.S. Gypsum Corp., CSL Group, Algoma Corp., Flinter Group, ConocoPhillips, Carisbrooke Shipping and Staten Island Ferries have chosen to use seawater as the propeller shaft lubricant.)
Currently, the U.S. EPA recommends that all newbuild vessel operators endeavor to use seawater-based systems for their stern tube lubrication to eliminate the discharge of oil from these interfaces to the aquatic environment.
Existing ships can be converted to seawater-lubricated propeller shaft systems as these systems typically fit in the same space as an oil lubricated system. The oil-to-seawter conversion is accomplished during a planned drydock where corrosion resistant shaft liners and a water lubricated forward seal were pre-ordered and the shaft and non-metallic bearings were ready for install when the ship drydocked.
So when it comes to discharges from a ships propeller shaft system, the shipowner that trades in U.S. waters has two choices for their existing ships and ships they plan to build: 1) replace mineral oil with an oil-based EAL to lubricate the metal bearings and ensure the seal is compatible with the EAL, or 2) convert or build a ship using a seawater-based system using non-metallic prop shaft bearings.      

By Craig D. Carter, MBA, Director of Marketing and Customer Service at Thordon Bearings Inc.

(As published in the November 2013 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Drilling Down into Risk Management

Afloat or ashore, we cannot eliminate risk, but it can be sensibly managed to a tolerable level. It begins with a hypothetical, but worryingly authentic, tale

MN: Corvus Energy

The Company: Corvus is a manufacturer of proven, high power Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Its field proven battery systems provide power to hybrid and fully electric marine propulsion systems.

LNG-fueled Box Ship a 'Momentous Step Forward'

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the world’s first series of energy efficient containerships welcomed its second LNG-powered vessel in San Diego, fueling the U.S.

Fuels & Lubes

Total Lubmarine Resumes Full Service in Tianjin

Marine lubricants and greases provider Total Lubmarine informs it has resumed all services based out of the Port of Tianjin following the deadly explosions that rocked the port August 12.

LNG-fueled Box Ship a 'Momentous Step Forward'

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the world’s first series of energy efficient containerships welcomed its second LNG-powered vessel in San Diego, fueling the U.S.

ZIM Transitions Fleet to StowMan(s) Software

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, Israel  has decided to enhance its stowage planning for its containership fleet (currently 93 ships) in the future by using

Marine Equipment

SHIPPINGInsight to Focus on Ship Telematics

The subject of ship telematics will be prominently featured at the upcoming SHIPPINGInsight 2015 Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition, which takes place in Stamford, Conn.

Euronav Acquires $ 750 mi Facility

The Executive Committee of Euronav NV today announced that it has signed a new USD 750 million senior secured amortizing revolving credit facility led by DNB

Worldwide Launch of Joint CIC

The Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control has launched a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign

Vessels

SHIPPINGInsight to Focus on Ship Telematics

The subject of ship telematics will be prominently featured at the upcoming SHIPPINGInsight 2015 Fleet Optimization Conference & Exhibition, which takes place in Stamford, Conn.

Euronav Acquires $ 750 mi Facility

The Executive Committee of Euronav NV today announced that it has signed a new USD 750 million senior secured amortizing revolving credit facility led by DNB

Worldwide Launch of Joint CIC

The Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control has launched a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.8782 sec (1 req/sec)