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 March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Miami Tugboat Oil Spill: Coast Guard Respond

The US Coast Guard says that its crewmembers are responding to a fuel spill in the vicinity of Government Cut in Miami, following a leak discovered aboard the 95-foot tugboat 'Neptune'.

Shipowners to Become Liable for Costs of Wreck Removal

Shipowner liability is on the horizon as the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal Wrecks will enter into force on 14 April 2015 following the deposit,

CA Port Seeks Public Feedback on Expansion

The Port of San Diego apprises it is to host separate open house events for the public to provide feedback on its long-range vision and 'Integrated Port Master Plan Update' process.

Fuels & Lubes

China crude oil output up

China's refinery crude throughput in March rose 2.6 percent from a year earlier to 41.92 million tonnes, or 9.87 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National

LNG Bunkering Will Develop Fast - LR Study

Lloyd's Register’s (LR) LNG Bunkering Infrastructural Survey 2014 indicates that major ports around the world are either planning for, or are anticipating, the wide-scale development of LNG bunkering.

The Midas Touch: US Navy Researchers Convert Seawater into Fuel

Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) say they have developed technology to extract carbon dioxide from seawater while simultaneously producing hydrogen,

Marine Equipment

KVH Precision Sensors for Geodetics' Inertial Navigation Systems

 KVH Industries entered into a strategic partnership with Geodetics Inc., a leader in the development of real-time, high-precision position and navigation solutions.

WireCo Acquires Netherlands’ Endenburg

Company will open new crane distribution center WireCo WorldGroup Inc., the world’s leading producer and marketer of specialty steel ropes and high synthetic ropes,

A New Standard in Marine Communications

KVH provides and Harvey Gulf employs possibly the most sophisticated on-board SATCOM and related service package on the water. That’s no accident.     If quality service,

Vessels

Otto Marine's Financial Health on the Mend

Michael See Kian Heng, Group Executive Director of Singapore-based offshore vessel owners & shipbuilders Otto Marine, says that his company reported revenue of US$512.

Ultra-deepwater Drillship 'Maersk Valiant' Delivered

Maersk Drilling advises that its second new drillship, 'Maersk Valiant', has been delivered from the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si, South-Korea.

Latest Shipbuilding Contracts Include VLCC Order for Philippine Yard

In the latest Clarkson Hellas S&P Weekly Bulletin newbuilding orders are reported in Far East shipyards for a range of vessels as follows: Bulk carriers Clarkson

 
 
Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.0898 sec (11 req/sec)