Fears Persist of Bunker Fuel Contamination in Rotterdam and Amsterdam

P&I Club renewed warnings over studies of gasoline contamination in samples round Rotterdam and Amsterdam (file photograph)

Aug 14, 2022 8:30 PM by

The Maritime Executive

Concerns are being raised over a rising quantity of circumstances of contaminated bunker gasoline in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, two of Europe’s main ports. The UK P&I Club has issued a follow-up warning after two unbiased testing labs warned for a lot of July that there have been circumstances of elevated ranges of contaminants in samples of bunker gasoline coming for the area across the Dutch ports in addition to probably in Belgium.

In current weeks, in keeping with the P&I Club, the business delivery trade has witnessed a rise in the quantity of bunker alerts. Testing corporations attribute the rising gasoline high quality points to the file 60 p.c surge in gasoline prices this 12 months.

The P&I Club studies that an evaluation of bunker gasoline signifies extra circumstances of contaminated gasoline in the Rotterdam and Amsterdam areas, suggesting that the issue continues to persist even after gasoline testing corporations Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) and CTI-Maritec issued bunker alerts in July concerning the issue.

VPS investigated samples of very low sulfur gasoline oil (VLSFO) taken in the realm of the Dutch ports following studies that vessels utilizing the gasoline have been experiencing operational issues resembling extreme put on of gasoline pump plungers, barrels, and injectors. One vessel misplaced propulsion and needed to be towed they reported. The failure began with engines unable to take the load because of harm inside the gasoline system.

Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) evaluation methodology, quite a few risky natural compounds like phenols, styrenes, alcohols, and ketonic compounds ranging as much as 40,000 components per million (ppm) or 4 p.c in complete have been detected in the gasoline samples.

“This vary of combos doesn’t originate from regular refinery processes and signifies contamination,” stated Ansuman Ghosh, UK P&I Club Director of Risk Assessment. “Phenol-like compounds are sometimes related to gasoline pump put on and harm.”

He added that additional current analyses by VPS utilizing samples from the identical area confirmed that the fuels had excessive complete acid numbers, and all contained abnormally excessive potassium ranges that may result in elevated combustion deposits.

Another investigation in the realm by CTI-Maritec that additionally included Antwerp in Belgium revealed that a number of VLSFOs delivered in the area contained the presence of chemical contaminants particularly elevated potassium content material and acid quantity. Forensic evaluation of some of the samples additionally revealed the presence of fatty acids and monoglycerides exceeding 1, 000 ppm, alkylresorcinols exceeding 2,000 ppm, and phenolic exceeding 1,000 ppm, a sign of abnormally excessive concentrations.

“Due to the severity of the equipment issues confronted, we urge vessel operators to proceed pre-emptively testing the fuels bunkered in the area by accredited check strategies to detect these contaminants assessing the danger every bunker stem has on the vessel equipment,” stated CTI-Maritec in a Bunker Flush replace late July.

Ghosh additionally highlighted that the kind of issues reported by vessels in the area are much like these discovered earlier this 12 months in Singapore when a portion of the gasoline provide was discovered to comprise chlorinated hydrocarbon. Although the contaminants have been totally different, P&I Club factors out that they prompted comparable varieties of harm to vessels. In Singapore, the Maritime and Port Authority was ready to make use of forensic testing to commerce the contaminated gasoline to a selected tanker that had loaded its cargo in the UAE. Two suppliers have been discovered to have been distributing the contaminated gasoline to over 200 vessels with 80 negatively affected. At the time, testing service VPS stated it believed greater than $120 million price of gasoline was contaminated.

“Due to the severity of the issues confronted, will probably be prudent to pre-test the fuels bunkered utilizing accredited testing strategies as a precautionary measure to detect these contaminants and assess the danger that every bunker stem poses to equipment,” famous Ghosh. He added that in an precise declare state of affairs, the flexibility to correctly pursue or defend bunker high quality claims is dependent upon the standard of the proof with good record-keeping being important to all the course of whereas the significance of correct bunker sampling can’t be overstated.


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