VLSFO appears to have a shorter shelf life than other marine fuels. File Image / Pixabay
Shipowners should be looking to bunker very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) more frequently than they had previously been taking on high sulfur fuel oil because of uncertainty over its shelf life, according to KPI OceanConnect.
"The shelf life of the VLSFOs is something that's overlooked frequently, and something that we really don't know a lot about," Brian Coyne, managing director for KPI OceanConnect in the Americas, said at Petrospot's Maritime Week Americas conference Wednesday.
"As a general rule of thumb, if I was operating vessels, I would try not to keep fuel on my vessels for very long, keep the tanks very low and burn through the products as quickly as possible, and bunker more frequently until we have a better understanding of how that affect the fuel.
"There is no doubt that some of these blends are not perfectly homogenous, and over time they're going to separate."