The quality of bunker fuel is a perennial issue for many vessel owners, charterers and ships’ engineers alike.
In fact, bunker fuel has sometimes been viewed as a ‘dumping ground’ for waste oil and other chemical wastes, resulting in engine damage or worse.
To combat this, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), introduced ISO 8217:2017 Petroleum products - Fuels (class f) - Specifications of marine fuels, which specifies the requirements for fuels for use in marine diesel engines and boilers, prior to conventional onboard treatment (settling, centrifuging, filtration) before use.
However, even if your vessel is supplied with bunker fuel that is specified as per the requirements of ISO 8217, you may still experience engine room issues.
Why? Because, whilst a fuel may be compliant, when marked to the physical characteristics of the standard, this does not guarantee that it is safe to use.
But, Brookes Bell can help you. Forensic laboratory examination of samples can provide insights into what may be causing problems in use.
Bunker fuel oil sample services
Samples are key to understanding bunker issues.
Although delivery samples are often the ‘legally binding’ samples, samples taken from a vessel’s storage tanks and systems actually represent what was delivered and what is happening ‘in use’.
In the event of any dispute, Brookes Bell recommends that a suite of samples be taken from the various points of contention.
These samples could include:
- The point of custody transfer, typically taken from the vessel manifold as a continuous drip sample
- Samples taken from the storage tanks. This will help you to establish the quality of the fuel actually delivered
- Before and after purifier samples
- Engine feed samples, to establish what quality fuel was being delivered to the engines at the time of an incident
- Sludge samples taken from strainers, purifiers and filters. This will help to identify any impurities within the bunker
As you can see, Brookes Bell has an acute understanding of the requirements of ISO 8217.
So, if you need any assistance with a bunker specification or quality dispute, speak to us today.
Not only can we help directly with fuel oil sample services, but we can also provide engine room experience too.
To settle your bunker fuel dispute, talk to Brookes Bell today.