UGS: Bunker Suppliers have a responsibility for safety and environmental consequences of IMO 2020 fuels

UGS: Bunker Suppliers have a responsibility for safety and environmental consequences of IMO 2020 fuels

The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) says bunker suppliers need to take their share of the responsibility for operational issues related to the supply and use of IMO 2020 compliant 0.5% maximum sulfur fuels.

The comments come amid growing concern over potential compatibility problems from such fuels, and particularly in the wake of the recent “bad bunker” problems witnessed in Houston, Panama and Singapore.

“The stakeholders of the bunker supply chain have recognised the potential safety and operational issues related to the supply and use of 0.5% maximum sulphur fuels and are proposing the issuance of extensive guidance for the ship operators and crews,” says UGS.

“However, the responsibility of the marine bunker supply chain cannot be shifted onto ship operators and crews. Ship operators and crews should not be held disproportionately responsible for the safety and environment consequences of the provision of unsafe or unsuitable fuels.”

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Fuel Incompatibility to put paid to “Detour Trades”

Fuel Incompatibility to put paid to “Detour Trades”

Getting a tanker to deviate from an agreed route to profit from higher cargo prices will become more difficult under the International Maritime Organisation’s new sulfur rule on bunker fuel as ships will not be able to rely on uniform fuel grades.

The rule means that, certainly in the short to medium term, a lack of clarity on the make up of low sulfur fuels will make if difficult to mix low sulfur fuel grades.

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Smart Way To Comply 2020

Smart Way To Comply 2020

Aderco – the world’s leading fuel treatment provider – has launched a new video offering a concise and detailed insight into the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 sulphur cap.

Available on YouTube ( the 4:27m video outlines in clear, concise facts the importance of tank cleaning before any new fuel is added to a ship’s tanks and why the use of fuel treatments are so important in the maintenance of marine diesel engines.

Among the issues looked at are: fuel availability; fuel costs, the increased hazards during fuel changeover procedures; fuel lubricity and incompatibility of fuels; the presence of catalytic fines and contaminants; the issues of insurance and indemnity cover and where and when the new fuels will be available.

Olivier Baiwir, CEO of Aderco, wants to ensure that everyone in the shipping world sees the video as it clearly outlines the important decision ship owners, ship managers and operators need to make in the months before the cap starts.


These are the links to the video in all other available sub-titles:

Brazilian (Portuguese) sub-titles

Japan sub-titles 

Korean sub-titles

Russian sub-titles 

Simplified Chinese sub-titles

Spanish sub-titles

Turkish sub-titles 

Vietnamese sub-titles  

IMO 2020: Bunker seen favouring branded fuels

IMO 2020: Bunker seen favouring branded fuels

With growing concern over the quality and compatibility of IMO 2020 compliant VLSFO fuels, bunker buyers will increasing look to lift branded fuels.

That was the view of several  delegates who spoke to Ship &Bunker on the sidelines of SIBCON this week, including ExxonMobil’s Luca Volta, Marine Fuels Venture Manager.

“I think they will, because he brand has a promise,” he said.

ExxonMobile has put a significant emphasis on bunker quality this week, not least of which was its announcement that all its VLSFOs will have global cross-comparability no matter where in the world they are lifted

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The time to start planning is now

The time to start planning is now

With ship owners, ship managers and operators still coming to terms with the new low sulphur IMO cap there is an urgent need for them to focus on a ship implementation plan before the regulations come into force on January 1 2020 according to Olivier Baiwir, CEO of Aderco.

The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) will discuss proposals from Norway at their 73rd session in October covering implementation plans for ships to be developed according to an agreed IMO guidance and robust enough to ensure compliance by 1 January 2020. Among the proposals are for vessels to have a log of actions taken that records the first loading of compliant fuel, the fuel tank cleaning process and assessments of the new fuels on engines and machinery.

Olivier Baiwir believes the issues of scrubbers and blended fuels have caused many in the maritime sector to focus their attention away from physical preparations for the 2020 cap.

“There is no time for ship owners, ship managers and operators to lose in getting their vessels ready for the IMO sulphur cap. The regulations come into force in little over 12 months but there have to be preparations well in advance of this to ensure compliance. We have been telling our customers that tank cleaning ideally needs to start no later than June 2019 to ensure they do not fall foul of the new regulations. This is the most pressing task before any new fuel blends can be introduced into their tanks and using a fuel treatment is the easiest, most cost effective and assured way of keeping a ship at sea and completing this vital task.”

The proposals from Norway to be discussed in October also raise concerns with the threat of extra and detailed Port State Control inspections covering compliance with the new cap.  Norway has now suggested that written ship implementation plans demonstrating preparations would help to create effective inspections in a transitional period. The suggestion here is that vessels without such plans could be subjected to more detailed inspections to verify compliance. Olivier Baiwir says owners and operators can dramatically reduce their preparation times, reduce their chances of falling foul of PSC and keep ships at sea without recourse to scrubbers by using a fuel treatment.

“The big issue with scrubbers is the time and expense in docking the ship, having a retro-fitted scrubber costing millions of dollars and being off-hire for weeks for this work. Our Aderco 2055G fuel treatment will flush out tanks and protect maritime diesel engines from cat fine issues, contamination, sludge development and corrosion. With this sort of protection as part of a process that also flushes out the tanks in preparation for the cap, it makes sense to see it as the best solution for ships not wanting to use scrubbers. The issues of engine damage to vessels caused by contaminated fuel from Houston and Singapore this summer highlights just how important this preparation process is to long-term viability. There is no guarantee as the cap kicks in that bunkered fuel blends will be perfect and in those cases it will be a fuel treatment that will protect engines and ensure no ships are stranded at sea.”

Industry experts suggest that some bunker suppliers may need a whole year to make changes in the supply chain to provide compliant fuels and this will further increase the pressure on ship owners according to Olivier Baiwir.

We have been talking in detail to our customers and advising them on 2020 implementation plans and how to carefully and methodically prepare their tanks and engines ready for the new fuels. There will be increased monitoring of ships, and increase in inspections and probably cases of non-compliance in the short-term simply because of the fuel on offer. With the right plan and the right fuel treatment this can be resolved with a planned approach that keeps vessels operating and generating income.

“There will undoubtedly be cases of a lack of compliant fuels in the early part of 2020 depending on bunkering and locations. If owners have cleaned their tanks with a fuel treatment and protected the engine, then they are in a better position to cope with the issues of potential damage from contaminated fuel. Whatever method they choose, it is vital they start work on a ship implementation plan now and choose the right fuel treatment solution to start cleaning those tanks.”