In addition, Marpol Annex VI clearly states that the fuel must not contain any added substances or chemical wastes that compromise the safety of the vessel, adversely affect the performance of machinery or are harmful to personnel or the environment.
It is also important to remember that residual marine fuels are not part of the refined products resulting from the petroleum refining process. Residual fuels supplied to the ship are a mixture of residual fuel and other raw materials from major refinery products which are then formulated to meet the requirements of ISO 8217 for use on ships. This gives marine fuel oil suppliers enough flexibility to produce fuels for the marine market, but this flexibility can lead to a lack of quality control of bunker fuel in the supply chain, leading to an increased risk of the use of unacceptable mixture products for the formulation of these fuels, such as in this case the organic chlorides present in HSFO bunkers.
Organic chlorides – compounds containing carbon and chloride bonds – do not occur naturally in crude oils and are usually the result of additives used in oil recovery as a detergent. These have different boiling points and under different temperature and pressure conditions, organic chlorides can decompose to hydrochloric acid, especially in the presence of water, causing corrosion and damage to system equipment. fuel. Some organic chlorides have the property of hardening metal surfaces, making the surfaces prone to erosion. Possibly due to the lower boiling points of these volatile organic compounds, they could vaporize in a fuel system and remove lubrication from metal surfaces, causing scuffing and cavitation, resulting in reduced performance of the engine and, in the worst case, a total loss of power. .
This is a significant cause for concern, as an uninterrupted engine fuel supply and functioning fuel injection equipment are critical to operating a vessel. Any damage can compromise the safe navigation of the vessel, exposing the cargo and personnel on board to a much higher risk. Additionally, in some recent incidents, ships have suffered a total loss of power due to the failure of all fuel injection systems on board the ship caused by these chlorides.
A priori, recent contaminated fuels comply with the initial series of ISO 8217 table 1 or 2 prescriptive test limits. requirements of ISO 8217 in their entirety under clause 5.
Using an initial prescriptive analysis, LR identified certain properties specific to these contaminated bunkers – based on which LR identified ships refueled with the same fuel – and we warned them not to use these same fuels.
LR is working with industry stakeholders such as ISO and CIMAC to expedite the process of including these specific organic chlorides in the more detailed standardized test of ASTM D7845, so that they are universally accepted for make the tests and results acceptable to all parties.
We have also made customers aware of the legal and contractual obligations that work in their favor – such as clause 5 of ISO 8217, regulation 18.3 of the revised Marpol Annex VI – which offers appropriate protection to end users against the presence of these contaminations in the fuel.
Finally, we liaise with fuel suppliers and port states, and participate in industry forums to highlight the need for a robust bunker quality management system throughout the supply chain. value of marine fuels. Rigorous bunker quality control and acceptable criteria for blend components will help increase user confidence and make the fuel supply business profitable in the long run.