In a bid to improve bunker quality across the marine fuel supply chain, the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) informs that it has called on marine fuel suppliers to adopt the ISO 2010 specifications for bunkers. Despite having been introduced four years ago to improve bunker standards, it is estimated that only a quarter of bunker suppliers are currently supplying in accordance with the 2010 specifications.
Addressing 1127 attendees from the shipping community at the annual IBIA dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, IBIA Vice-Chairman Jens Maul Jorgensen said:
“ECO vessels are now entering the market equipped with engines which are more sensitive than vessels have ever had before. The ISO specs were agreed four years ago because there was a real need for them. Yet only 25% of suppliers are supplying in accordance with these specs. Indeed tested samples which were found to be off-spec reached an all time high in 2013 with one quarter not reaching the required standards. Something is wrong.”
IBIA says that it is working to address the problem and has submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization calling for clarity and transparency in the marine fuel supply chain. It has recommended a process of data collection from bunker suppliers; a process for authorities and inspectors to report non-compliance with Annex VI; regulations to minimise the risk of non-compliant fuels arising from fuel blending activity; enforcement procedures to ensure that ship operators can have a greater degree of confidence in their suppliers; and the collection of data from fuel suppliers, fuel testing companies and shipping companies to identify the root cause of fuel quality problems.
IBIA Chief Executive Peter Hall advised that IBIA would be engaging with shipowners directly at a series of forums around the world held in conjunction with other shipping organisations and associations. The forums will be disseminating practical advice about fuel quality standards and avoiding problems. The first of these forums takes place 10 March at the International Parcel Tanker Association/Navigate Chemical & Product Tanker conference in London.