Portable Sulphur Test

Breakthrough Portable Sulphur Test by Parker Kittiwake for Fuel Ahead Of The 2020 Global Sulphur Cap

Parker Kittiwake, a leading global manufacturer of condition monitoring technologies, has announced the launch of its ground-breaking X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analyser, a portable testing device which, among other parameters, measures the sulphur content in fuel. The XRF provides an accurate indication of sulphur content through the analysis of a small fuel sample in less than three minutes. This gives both shipowners and Port State Control (PSC) the ability to conduct laboratory-standard testing onsite, before non-compliant fuel is bunkered and before a vessel carrying non-compliant fuel leaves port.

Traditional methods for confirming compliance with sulphur limits rely on paperwork requirements such as the Bunker Delivery Note (BDN). This not only significantly increases the risk of non-compliance and subsequent penalties for shipowners, but also heightens the environmental impact of burning fuel with a higher sulphur content. In addition, the delay incurred by laboratory analysis creates the risk that the vessel may have left port with non-compliant fuel onboard, or may require non-compliant fuel to be de-bunkered and compliant fuel re-bunkered, incurring significant delays and additional cost. The XRF Analyser provides a spot-check analysis of the sulphur content in fuel on site, allowing PSC to ascertain compliance almost instantly, and affording shipowners the opportunity to avoid fines, plus the time, expense and operational impact of bunkering non-compliant fuel.

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The CO2 issue has been grossly overstated

recent comment piece in Splash 24/7, by First International chairman Paul Slater, questioned shipping’s role in climate change, calling the IMO’s proposed plan “fatuous, unrealistic and unnecessary”.

He wrote: “The CO2 issue has been grossly overstated…It has been shown that [shipping’s] CO2 is absorbed by seawater without damaging results”. He also claimed to The Loadstar that there was no evidence that polar ice was melting.

The Loadstar decided to check the facts.

Mr Slater’s comments do not speak for an entire industry. But they do give credence to those within it that doubt the IMO measures are important.

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Teekay says no to scrubbers

Teekay Tankers, has given the clearest indication yet of the company’s post-2020 sulphur cap tanker fuelling option. Although Teekay has several LNG-fuel tankers on order, speaking at the IBIA Asia Bunker Symposium in Singapore, Teekay’s regional commercial manager, Ashley Noronha said “We are certainly not going to modify our existing vessels for LNG; scrubbers will not meet the deadline; (the) majority of our vessels are going to be using distillates,” reported Platts.

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THE FIRST VOTE OF THANKS GOES TO ….

If the reports in one of the prestigious maritime journals is to be believed (and we do!) then we are starting to learn when and where the new IMO 2020 compliants fuels will be available and most importantly, where they will be bunkered. According to one magazine: “ExxonMobil announced its initial distribution plans for marine fuel that will meet the low-sulphur targets coming in less than two years. The oil major says it will have fuel that will meet the International Maritime Organisation’s 0.5% sulfur cap in ports in Northwest Europe, the Mediterranean and Singapore.”

This past week or so has been very busy for the IMO and its numerous committees and followers: only now has the realisation reached some in the shipping world that in order to actually ferry the fuels to ships fitted with scrubbers, then there needed to be a serious amendment to the regulations to ensure they were not breaking their own rules! Lots of head-scratching and shaking of heads in some circles but it does show how difficult the waters are in this battle to eradicate the pollution so often associated with the heavy fuel oil used in the shipping world.

The lack of clarity we complained about in a couple of our last postings concerned the locations that new fuels (whatever blends they may be) would be available from are not yet eradicated. For a global industry that virtually keeps the world’s economy moving and ticking, it is discouraging that it has taken so long to sort these two issues out. Maybe thanks to the ExxonMobil news we are now well on the way to have our fears allayed.