Technical Report on Changing Scene of Marine Fuel Quality – Fuel Management Heading Towards 2020 presented by Mrs. Sophia Themelarou, FOBAS Specialist GEMA, Marine Fuels & Environment Hellenic Lloyd’s S.A., Greece on 24 September 2015
By Dr. John Kokarakis, Section Chair
Our section opened the series of technical meetings for 2015-16, on Thursday September 24th at the hospitable Angelicoussis Auditorium. The total number of attendees was 27 members and non-members, a relatively low figure attributed to the everlasting extension of summer holidays as well as coincidence with the examination period of our students.
The title of the presentation was “Changing Scene of Marine Fuel Quality; Fuel Management Heading towards 2020” presented by Mrs. Sofia Themelarou, fuel specialist from FOBAS (Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service) the fuel services branch of Lloyd’s Register.
The presentation covered four distinct areas, namely:
a) Fuel management
b) Fuel Quality
c) Distillates and cold flow properties of fuels
d) Hybrid fuels
Given the non-uniformity of available bunker fuel the existence of services like FOBAS is vital to ensure compliance with specifications and applicable regulations. The advent of low sulphur fuels has necessitated fundamental considerations related to the lubricity, viscosity, cat fines, fuel stability, potential additives or fuel contamination, compatibility in blends and of course efficient combustion. These were analyzed by the speaker and it became evident that such services and fuel studies are a necessary in modern shipping companies.
The targets of fuel management focus towards cost reduction, environmental friendliness, compliance with emission regulations and efficient energy utilization. The presentation described fuel properties (Al Si Sulphur content, viscosity, lubricity etc.) for which deviation from specifications is typically observed, noting that such deviations are not necessarily evidence of poor fuel quality.
These deviations were described in a statistical format with identification of the trends to appear. They were connected to various problems analyzed by FOBAS such as filter and injector clogging, sludging, pump leakage, poor combustion, incompatible fuel blending etc. Although the deviation from specifications and ISO 8217 tends to be dropping slightly, it is more or less flat over the last 10 years. The concern is that it can be associated with operational problems of varying degree of criticality and impact.
The technical and operational considerations associated with the utilization of distillates were also presented with particular emphasis on the importance of the cloud and pour points as well as the cold filter plugging point (CFPP). More importantly the property requirements for the cold flow properties were underlined as being “sine qua non” check-list items during pre- and post- bunkering as well as on board handling. The final section of the presentation was devoted to the so called “hybrid” fuels which aspire to provide cheap substitutes for the distillates in the road towards compliance with low sulphur regulation. According to the presenter hybrid fuels are a viable alternative provided that they are used with the proper care and testing.
Following an extensive discussion motivated by an excellent presentation, we had all a great reception and social get together.
From left to right: Dionysopoulos, A. Gerogiannaki (Secretary-Treasurer), S. Themelarou (Presenter, FOBAS), J. Kokarakis (Section Chair)
Presenter is awarded a commemorative gift by the Greek Section Chair.
The presentation can be found here.