ExxonMobil Launches "New Category" of HFO-Like 0.10% Sulfur ECA-Compliant Bunker Fuel

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday July 9, 2014

ExxonMobil Marine Fuels & Lubricants today says it has launched a new fuel capable of complying with the 0.10 percent sulfur cap that takes effect in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) at the start of next year.

Described as a "new catagory of marine fuel", ExxonMobil Premium Heavy Distillate Marine ECA 50 (HDME 50) promises a combination of the low sulfur content of marine gas oil (MGO) and the higher flashpoint and lower volatility of heavy fuel oil (HFO).

Because of its higher viscosity, HDME 50 is handled on board like HFO and is heated.

That, says ExxonMobil, reduces the risk of thermal shock to engine components during fuel switchovers when entering and leaving an ECA, compared with distillate fuels which are used at ambient temperature.

ExxonMobil tested HDME with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) prior to its release to confirm its suitability for main and auxiliary engines and marine type boilers.

It has also received No Objection Letters from MAN Diesel & Turbo for use in the company's B&W two-stroke and B&W Holeby gensets, as long as engine type guidelines are followed.

The fuel is available via barge delivery in Antwerp for ships operating in the Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) region and is already in use by a range of ships.

"ExxonMobil Premium HDME 50 complements our existing MGO offer and enables operators to choose a fuel that meets their specific requirements," said Aaron Cobb, director, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants.

UK MGO supplier the Geos Group said last month that a shortage of MGO is likely next year when the new ECA rules take effect.