ExxonMobil Launches Second Specialist ECA Fuel, ExxonMobil Premium Advanced Fuel Marine ECA 200 (AFME 200)

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday March 11, 2015

ExxonMobil today announced in an emailed statement the launch of ExxonMobil Premium Advanced Fuel Marine ECA 200 (AFME 200), its second specialist fuel for use within Emission Control Areas (ECA) following last year's launch of ExxonMobil Premium Heavy Distillate Marine ECA 50 (HDME 50).

Like HDME 50, AFME 200 offers the on-board handling characteristics of HFO and compliance with the 0.10 percent sulfur cap for marine fuel within ECAs. 

ExxonMobil said that it had conducted extensive fuel compatibility and stability tests during the development of the new fuel, including the ISO 10307-2 sediment test, and the results indicated that AFME 200 is fully compatible with both MGO and HDME 50.

"ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is an advanced fuel oil formulated using a proprietary refining process that removes sulphur, metals and other contaminants," said ExxonMobil.

"This enables the fuel to comply with the ECA sulphur cap and also helps to optimise the performance of engines and extend component life."

ISO 8217

Since the launch of HDME 50 several other suppliers have also released ECA compliant products, but with no clear ISO 8217 specification, reports from earlier this year suggest suppliers have seen limited demand for them as a result of buyer caution and additional handling costs.

ExxonMobil says that while Premium AFME 200 is a unique product, it does meet and exceed all the tests included in the ISO 8217:2012 RME 180 specification.

In comparison, ExxonMobil's website indicates that HDME 50 largely meets ISO 8217 distillate specifications (DMA, DMB, DMZ) with the exception of viscosity, said to be typically between 40 and 75 cSt at 40°C versus 6.0 and 11.0 for DMA and DMB respectively. HDME 50 also has a slightly higher density and pour point.

The viscosity of AFME 200 was said to have a typical viscosity comparable to HFO of 67 cSt at 50°C, meaning both fuel types have similar storage and handling practices on board marine vessels.

"Both fuels require preheating, therefore reducing the risk of thermal shock to engine components during switchovers to comply with the ECA sulphur cap," said ExxonMobil.

"Thermal shock may result in fuel pump seizures and engine shutdowns and has the potential to occur when switching from heated HFO to marine gas oil (MGO) at ambient temperatures."

ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is available from the Port of Southampton, UK, via barge delivery.

The energy major also noted that it will continue to expand its ECA compliant fuels offer throughout 2015.

Last month ExxonMobil said tests had shown its Premium HDME 50 is compatible with marine gas oil.