Home / Shipping News / Marine Insurance P&I Club News / Overview of ULSFO off-specs

Overview of ULSFO off-specs

From now on, all combustion equipment – main and auxiliary engines, oil fired boilers and inert gas generators – onboard of vessels, that are subject to Regulation 14 of MARPOL Annex VI and operating in Mediterranean SECA, must consume fuel oil with sulphur content of 0.10% S m/m or less, unless other approved means of SOx emission control are in place.

Until now, most of Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (ULSFO) has been bunkered in the Baltic and the North Sea SECAs, with Rotterdam being a global leading ULSFO supply port.

Previously, we already examined the quality of Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil in European ports. In November 2023, we reported:

Over the last six months ULSFO delivered in Rotterdam was failing on technical parameters such as Viscosity and Pour Point in 7% of samples. 3% of samples failed on Sulphur content – 1% of samples were tested marginally exceeding statutory 0.10% mark, while further 2% were found above 0.11%. RMG380 was particularly problematic.

Other European ports where customers faced ULSFO quality issues were Swedish Gothenburg, Malmo and Stockholm, and Lubeck, Antwerp and Klaipeda. ULSFO supplied in Zeebrugge was always on spec on all parameters.

Since November, the ULSFO quality statistics have been as follows:

• Rotterdam: 10.6% of samples fail on Pour Point and, to lesser extent, on Viscosity.

• Antwerp: 8.7% of samples fail on Pour Point and Viscosity, and in 2.2% of cases on Sulphur content.

• Lubeck, the fifth port by bunkered ULSFO volumes: 21.3% of samples taken there fail on Pour Point.

• Gothenburg: 6.4% of samples fail on Sulphur content and 6.4% were off-spec due to Viscosity issues.

• Zeebrugge and Skagen have been trouble-free, while in Malmo 21.1% of bunkers failed on Viscosity and/or on Pour Point, and 5.3% on Sulphur.

• ULSFO delivered in Houston is prone to causing problems due to off-spec Sulphur content where 7.7% of samples failed to meet the requirements, while other parameters were within specification.
With the expansion of ULSFO supply geography following the entry into force of the Mediterranean SECA, it is worth keeping a closer eye on ULSFO quality statistics. Increased volumes and new delivery ports, along with the new revision of ISO 8217 bunker quality standard are expected to bring about some changes. Time will tell whether the changes are for the better or bring new challenges.

The bunker quality info tab on Neptune is updated regularly. For additional information, please contact Loss Prevention Department.
Source: West

Recent Videos

Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide Online Daily Newspaper on Hellenic and International Shipping