USCG, P&I Club Issue "Bad Bunker" Warning

Tuesday June 12, 2018

The US Coast Guard (USCG) and North P&I Club are among a growing number of industry participants to have issued Marine Safety Alerts regarding bunker contamination in Houston and the wider U.S. Gulf Coast region.

North P&I today said a "significant number" of vessels have experienced clogging of filters and in more extreme cases engine damage, in particular fuel pump seizures.

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) issued its findings of the problem last month, believing that the presence of 4-Cumyl-Phenol (CAS No. 599-64-4) was the root cause of the bad bunkers.

This week is was warned that the contamination is being caused by at least two separate issues, and may have also made its way to Panama.

"The Coast Guard recommends that vessel owners and managers ensure vessel operators are made aware of this potential hazardous condition, closely monitor fuel oil system components and consult their bunker suppliers and other technical service providers regarding this issue," USCG said.