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Razaghi Meyer International Home. Up. Quality Assurance During Bunkering. Quality Assurance at the Engine. INtgrity RMI INtegrity CMV: Quality Assurance During Bunkering

One Bad Bunkers can be one too many:

True: not all bad bunkers will cause damage.

In fact the risk of catastrophic failure is apparently quite low.

Many “bad bunkers” are simply a case that the fuel does not comply with the standard e.g. ISO 8217.

The chances are that many such problems e.g. Density and viscosity are off-spec, are “managed” by the fuel treatment system without the chief engineer necessarily being aware that there is a problem. Indeed, there may be many undetected problems even with a compliant fuel that are managed by the fuel treatment system.

Not all bunker samples are analysed; some are only analysed if a problem becomes apparent.

Not all bad bunkers are identified.

True: All bad bunkers cost money, detected or not.

Sample Analysis

The results of the sample analysis are usually not available until after the vessel has completed bunkering and has sailed.

The fuel quality is unknown during bunkering.

There is a level of trust required during bunkering that is often unjustified.

Financial Risks

If the risk of catastrophic failure is apparently quite small, that is not the case for financial risk.

For example, whether the fuel is compliant with the standard or not, there are disputes about the actual density of the fuel being lower than the density used in the bunker delivery note. In many of these cases the difference is more than 5kg/m3 which represents a significant amount of money paid for fuel that was not received - especially at today’s prices.

Then too there are problems with the volume measurements used in calculating the amount delivered and entrained air can confuse the issue for the vessel if the fuel is aerated in the bunkers or on the barge.

MARPOL 73/78: Annex VI; Regulation 18: the risk of criminalisation

MARPOl introducing a legislative imperative not previously present in the industry. Some problems will not be “managed” and may not be resolved between the supplier and the vessel; some problems may involve the parties being prosecuted and in some areas this will not be limited to fines but will include criminal prosecutions.

If the vessel is subject to MARPOL then the actual density and the actual %mass of sulphur must be measured and declared. While the sulphur limits are just that, limits, the actual reporting requires true values, not limits (for observational monitoring).

A fuel bunkered where the sulphur content subsequently proves to not meet the MARPOL sulphur limits (bunker sample analysis) is a problem bunker.

It is a problem that can’t be “managed”. The fuel must be quarantined and de-bunkered.

The effect of MARPOL is that every bunker must have been analysed or its components analysed if it is an ano-demand blend.

Some port authorities require the sample taken during bunkering is always analysed.

INtegrity Systems for vessels

As part of the development of the Integrity CMV & CEMS (pending)  to enable vessels to provide automated fuel sulphur monitoring and reporting, Razaghi Meyer International has developed a suite of applications for both suppliers and vessels to address the problem of assuring bunker quality during bunkering.

Bunker Quality Assurance during Bunkering:

INtegrity systems for both suppliers and vessels provide quality assurance during bunkering. Not only is non-compliance detected but the sulphur content declared by the supplier can be validated using the “Fuel Fingerprint” method.

The  Integrity Digital Viscometer can significantly minimise the risk by detecting problems as the fuel is bunkered.

Protecting the vessel against bad bunkers is the function of the “Bunker Inlet Monitor” .

At the Engine:

The engine has protection in depth; the Bunker Inlet monitor prevents bad fuels being bunkered and the Engine Monitor  protects the engine against bunkers whose properties have changed on board e.g. due to separation, stratification or the illicit disposal of sludge or used lubricating oil.  It also performs the MARPOL monitoring role and which, it is intended, will preclude the possible mandatory use of fuel sulphur analysers aboard the vessel (see the MARTOB Reports).

Bunker fuel quality problems are visible recognisable and actionable during the bunkering operation and at the engine.


For more information, contact Razaghi Meyer International.