FOBAS Alert: Organic Chlorides detected in HSFO from Singapore

Tuesday March 29, 2022

FOBAS has recently tested a handful of HSFO bunker samples from fuel bunkered in Singapore between 15th February and 4th March that were found to be contaminated with chlorinated compounds.

Organic Chlorides are not naturally present in crude sources and their presence in marine fuels is a cause of concern. Organic Chlorides, if present in the fuel, can prove to be problematic for vessels with issues ranging from severe sludging to increased wear and sticking of fuel pumps & fuel injectors. In all the cases FOBAS is investigating, vessels have already reported similar issues which are proving to be problematic on board.

It must be noted that organic chlorides, if present in the fuel, are not detected using standard ISO test methods and these, like any other anomalous components, can only be ascertained by use of investigative analysis such as GCMS, highlighting the need to be vigilant.

In FOBAS' opinion, the presence of organic chlorides in marine fuels contravenes the stipulations of the revised MARPOL Annex VI regulation 18.3 and International Marine Fuel Standard ISO 8217, Clause 5. As per ISO 8217 and MARPOL Annex VI, marine fuels supplied to ships should be free from chemical waste or added substances that may jeopardise the safety of the ship or adversely affects the performance of the machinery.

In view of the above, if your ships are planning to bunker in Singapore, we recommend that suppliers are advised of your concerns regarding the stability of the fuel in the area, and that they provide you with additional reassurance. It must be noted that these alleged contaminated deliveries do not reflect the overall bunkers supplied in Singapore. Furthermore, Singapore MPA is aware of these specific instances and is also investigating the cause.

Additional attention should be given to the collection of bunker samples. It should be ensured that all parties have witnessed the sampling process and have signed witness forms accordingly, and that the supporting documentation includes records of all the samples considered representative of the fuel as loaded.

If you require any further information about this Bulletin, please contact us at or speak to one of our consultants on +44 (0)330 414 1000 (Southampton UK), +44 (0)1642 440991 Redcar (UK), +65 3163 0888 (Singapore), +30 211 990 7732 (Greece). For anything urgent, please contact us via our out of office number, +44 (0)1642 425660.