Experiences with the use of compliant ( VLSFO) fuel oil.
IMO recently published a survey in which they have asked several ship operators about their experience by using VLSFO respective compliant fuel.
The results have shown that the fears about risks of using incompatible VLSFO which were raised last Year, were justified and are confirmed now.
Sulphur, sediment the main issues in IMO 2020 transition, survey finds:
“The transition to IMO 2020 compliant fuel oil (0.5% sulphur) has not been without problems, with sulphur content, sediment, and aluminium plus silicon being the main issues experienced, a recent survey found.”
More specifically, 62% of the respondents have to some extent experienced increased sludge deposits in the fuel oil system including increased sludge discharge from the ship’s separators.
32% of the respondents answered that they had experienced wax appearance in the fuel oil system e.g. in fuel oil tanks, filters etc.
31% of the respondents answered that they had experienced operational issues caused by increased wear and tear of cylinder liners, piston rings or other components, assessed to be due to increased amounts of catalytic fines (cat fines) in the fuel oil.
22% of the respondents answered that fuel oil had been de-bunkered as a consequence of fuel oil properties.
21% of the respondents answered that they had experienced problems with fuel injection, poor ignition or incomplete combustion of the fuel.
18% of the respondents answered that they had experienced fuel oil pumps seizures.
10% of the respondents answered that they had experienced loss of propulsion and/or black out as a consequence of fuel oil properties.
The answers and comments provided by respondents suggest that the transition to IMO 2020 compliant fuel oil (0.5% sulphur) has not been without problems. As fuel oil properties are fluctuating, quality and safety problems will continue to be a challenge for the global shipping industry.
All above mentioned problems are caused by incompatibility of the VLSFO mixture and can be eliminated when VLSFO will be homogenized.
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