What challenges may be expected with IMO 2020 Sulfur Cap comming in force 1 January 2020? How can we be prepared?
27 Sep '19, 11:57
Several challenges and problem fields can be expected with changing over to fuels with maximum Sulfur content of 0.5%.
- Compatibility between different bunker supplies could be problematic
- No comingling of different bunkers should take place. Keep the different batches of 0.5% Compliant Fuels segregated as far as practicable. This may be difficult for vessels with only 2 big bunker tanks
- Diligent pre-planning will be required between all parties to ensure minimum comingling
- Compatibility test kits advised to be supplied to ships and spot test to be done onboard to provide an indication of incompatibility
- It may be expected that new fuels may have stability issues
Extra Testing may be required
- Reserve Stability Number (RSN) – also known as Separability Number (SN)
- Total Sediment Potential (TSP) test indicates the amount of sediment present in Fuel Oil.
- Reserve Stability Number (RSN) will indicate the likelihood that this sediment will flocculate and form sludge. RSN can identify potentially troublesome fuels (unstable) even when the TSP is indicating a low sediment content. It may indicate, as well, that a high sediment fuel is in fact quite stable and unlikely to form sludge.
- Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) Test, used to quantify the chemical components present in the bunker fuels
- Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) Screening, used to identify solids, FAME, organic, inorganic & polymer materials in fuels
RSN Test should be carried out as standard for all 0.5% compliant fuels. GCMS & FTIR tests may be necessary for fuels, which suspected to be of bad quality.
Fuel treatment by additives:
Additives from the various makers (Aderco, Innospec, Wilhelmsen, etc.) are available for new 0.5% compliant fuels. It is recommended to keep basic stock on board for most probable fuel quality issues.
Extra attention to heating:
- 0.5%S VLSFOs expected to have higher paraffinic content
- Steam Tracing to be switched onto ensure uninterrupted operation of fuel transfer system
- Fuel to be stored at a temperature that is at least 10°C above Pour Point to reduce the risk of wax formation
- Kept fuel at a temperature above its Cold Filter Plugging Point throughout its flow in filters and separators
- Maintain sufficient temperature for separation of water from the fuel when in settling and service tanks
- Extra attention to be paid to the Fuel Oil Purifiers maintenance
- Ensure the most efficient fuel purification for removal of catfines
- Keep the minimum throughput basis consumption
- Maintain purification temperature of 98 deg C
- Choose appropriate gravity discs
- Utilize the second purifier (if available) for parallel/sequence operations
- Ensure adequate filtration of the fuel supplied to engines to achieve the reliability of the operation
- Increase the frequency of cleaning fuel system filters – both manual and automatic filters
- Installation of 10 microns automatic backflush filter just before the engine should be carried out
Proper Viscosity at the engine inlet
- Correct injection viscosity recommended by engine makers (usually 2cSt) must be ensured
- Wide variation in new 0.5% compliant fuels viscosity should be expected (30cSt to 300+ cSt)
- Viscometers must be properly serviced and calibrated
27 Sep '19, 12:29