What are most important steps during Bunkering common to all vessels?

20 Jun '17, 10:38

June 20, 2017, 10:38 a.m.
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Successful bunkering starts with a proper preparation and planning.

1) On every bunkering occasion, before the bunker barge arrives, Chief Engineer, with presence of the Surveyor (if appointed), should measure and record the contents of all the bunker tanks on the vessel. The measurement should not be restricted only to tanks vessel intends to load.

2) The Bunker Plan with filling quantities, tank capacities and filling sequences must be prepared and approved. All company related Checklists completed, Permits obtained and Risk assessment and Toolbox meeting carried out prior starting the bunkering.

3) Pre-bunkering meeting of Chief Engineer, Bunker barge Master and Surveyor must be conducted. Following tips must be discussed, agreed and reflected in the relevant checklist:
- Bunker Plan
- Hose(s) connection and disconnection procedure
- Supplied fuel quality and quantity
- Maximum pumping pressure and pumping rates
- Start-up, topping-up and emergency stop procedures discussed
- Sampling procedure

4) Under most of the sales contracts, the reference point for delivered quantity is the barge outturn figure. Therefore the Chief Engineer should attend, with the presence of the Surveyor (if appointed), and inform the barge master that ALL barge tanks, including any which are declared to be empty or carrying fuel for another ship, are to be measured. Temperature in all tanks should be taken as well and have it recorded accordingly.

5) Under most of the sales contracts, owners have the right to present a claim within 15 days of bunker is delivered to vessel in relation to any quality or quantity dispute. Failing which such claim will be deemed to be waived and owners will be in a very difficult position to pursue further. Therefore ensure the sample is landed and dispatch by DHL or any other reliable courier service as soon as they are taken from any delivery, and have it sent to the owner designated laboratory for testing. Master is to follow up with agent after the sample is landed and ensure the sample will reach the laboratory at a timely manner.

6) Ship's staff should always use their own ullage tapes and thermometers for measurement of bunker quantity delivered. Or if barge ullage/sounding tape/thermometer is used make sure it is in good condition. If any concern regarding the accuracy/condition of the measuring device, then a letter of protest must be issued.

7) Together with the barge master, every fuel tank should then be dipped or ullage taken. If ullage is taken, the deck reference points for ullaging must be determined from the BARGE ullage table. If this cannot be obtained issue letter of protest to supplier/barge operator accordingly and then you can take sounding instead of ullage table reference.

8) Make sure the sounding/ullage table you obtained from the barge has the name of the barge, an approval stamp from a recognized body, together with a date of approval.

9) The Chief Engineer should confirm, prior to commencement of receiving bunkers, with the barge master/personnel the amount and type of fuel to be delivered.

10) As the density can only be found by analysis of a representative sample, The bunker delivery receipt prepared by barge should only be signed "for gross volume at observed temperature". If this wording is not allowed, then a letter of protest must be issued.

11) Duty staff, together with the surveyor (if appointed) must be allowed onboard the bunker barge to confirm piping diagram matches the actual set up onboard.

12) The Chief Engineer is required to have a crew member overseeing the entire bunkering operation.

13) Duty staff, together with the surveyor (if appointed) must keep regular look out of the continuous drip sampling device which must be sealed. The most common fault with drip sampling is that the flow rate is set too low and then not monitored until near the end of bunkering, at which  point the valve is opened up to get the correct quantity in the container. This means that the container will have a sample which, in effect, only represents last part of the delivery.

14) The sample taken by continuous drip method at receiving vessel’s manifold, after the bunker operation, should be thoroughly mixed before distributing to clean/dry sampling bottles. Apart from supplier’s seal, chief engineer should counter seal every sample bottle with provided seal and have this unique seal number recorded on all the BDN.

15) Sample taken has to be witness by the Chief engineer. Do not accept or sign on any unknown sample from supplier. Do NOT pre-sign any empty sample bottle or suspicious sample provided by the supplier. Every label on the sample bottle should have below information filled up by the ship’s staff:
- Vessel’s name
- identity of delivery facility
- product name - delivery date and place and point of sampling - seal number

16) Authenticated with the Vessel’s stamp and signed by the Sellers’ representative and the Master of the Vessel or his authorized representative.

17) If there is any suspicion that the bunkers have an unusual quantity of entrained air or vapor, the Chief Engineer should make reference into the BDN and the surveyor (if appointed) should note this and comment in his report.

18) When taking samples in Singapore, suppliers may require to use their sample bottles to contain the samples taken at receiving vessel’s manifold. This is acceptable. However ensure that the samples are taken at vessel’s manifold and has been shake and stirred before distributing to the sample bottles. For all samples taken, ensure to counter seal the sample. For the sample sending to the Lab for testing, use vessel's bottle and seal and check with supplier whether they wish to counter seal. If Suppliers do not accept this sample to be record in BDN, letter of protest should be issued. On the completion of the bunkering operation, the Cargo Officer has to once again invite the Chief Engineer on board the bunker tanker, this time to witness the closing gauge (or meter reading) and the cargo temperature of all the cargo tanks of the bunker tanker.

19) In the event that there is a quantity dispute, then the Chief Engineer or surveyor who is engaged, shall be allowed to inspect or gauge all non-cargo tanks on the bunker tanker. If dispute is not resolved by repeated sounding Chief Engineer should raise a Note of Protest/Letter of Protest (in the prescribed form) that should then be signed and stamped by both parties

20) The delivered quantity (as set out in the BDN) shall be based on the bunker tanker's measurements and calculations as witnessed by both the Chief Engineer and the Cargo Officer.
 In addition to acting as a record of the quantity delivered, the BDN also acts as a record that the samples have been properly taken, in accordance with the Sampling Requirements and the Sampling Procedure. 

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20 Jun '17, 10:49

June 20, 2017, 10:49 a.m.
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