Baltimore Bridge Collapse: Details Revealed on Boxship Dali's Bunkering History

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday March 28, 2024

The container ship Dali at the centre of this week's deadly allision with a bridge in Baltimore lifted fuel in the US port and was burning MGO at the time of the incident, according to maritime technology company FuelTrust.

The Dali also took on fuel in Shanghai, followed by Korea, before heading through the Panama Canal.

"Our checks reveal no refueling in Panama, supported by satellite data," the company added in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday.

Not mentioned by FuelTrust but as shown by AIS data, the vessel then called at New York and Norfolk but it remains unclear whether bunkering also took place at these additional locations before Dali finally made her way to Baltimore.

Separate sources have told Ship & Bunker Dali did not lift fuel in Baltimore.

As previously reported by Ship & Bunker, the US National Transportation Safety Board says its investigators are considering whether unsuitable bunker fuel may have been a factor in the incident that saw the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in the early hours of Tuesday morning after being struck by the 9,962 TEU Singapore-flagged boxship.

The incident has left two dead and four others missing, presumed dead.

The ship was being operated on behalf of AP Moller-Maersk on the 2M service between Asia and the US East Coast.

"The Dali is not a client, meaning we don't have the direct data on the fuel mix in its tanks and engine status, but our visibility to the fuel supply chain provides us some insight into the mishap," FuelTrust said.

"The fuel in use at the [time of the] incident was Marine Gas Oil (DMA), a standard choice worldwide for in-port or environmentally sensitive operations.

"It met all required specifications by international and national authorities, tested by an ISO certified fuel lab to ISO 8217:2015 standards."

However, it is unlikely that the fuel in use at the time of the incident was the same fuel lifted in Baltimore.

Standard operating procedures dictate that any new fuel taken on is put into a separate fuel tank and tested to ensure it is fit for use before being used, a process that can take several days.

That said, as highlighted by major 'bad bunker' problems in Houston 2018, and again in 2022 in Singapore, meeting the ISO 8217 table requirements does not guarantee that the fuel will be problem free.