Norbulk's vessels will be equipped with a tool that can alert owners and operators to cat fines in fuel oil.
Parker Kittiwake has announced a "significant" order by Norbulk Shipping, that will see 70 vessels fitted with its recently launched Cat Fines Test Kit.
As Ship & Bunker previously reported, the test kit is an onboard, chemical bottle test that can be "administered in minutes."
Previously, the detection of cat fines in bunkers was only possible by sending a fuel sample to a laboratory for analysis.
"Having evaluated the available tools, we have identified the Parker Kittiwake Cat Fines Test Kit as the most simple and reliable way for our engineers to quickly identify potentially damaging cat fines in fuel oil," said Walter Woodage Director and General Manager of Norbulk Shipping.
"They can now take timely action to minimise the likelihood of damage, avoiding the associated costs and challenges if damage occurs."
Walter Woodage Director and General Manager of Norbulk Shipping
With changes in fuel quality, catalytic fines have become a real problem in recent times, which is why the advent of onboard testing is so welcome.
Parker Kittiwake noted the replacement of one liner could be up to $65,000 for parts alone, and can run into hundreds of thousands for a single vessel with multiple cylinders, including materials, labour, and the associated costs of downtime and repair.
"As environmental regulation becomes more widespread, the quality of fuel supplied to a vessel is increasingly difficult to predict. As more distillates are being taken from the oil, this requires more refining, and as a result more catalyst is being carried over," said Larry Rumbol, condition monitoring market development manager at Parker Kittiwake.
"Having a continuous stream of data to refer to through simple tools such as the cat fines test kit, shipowners can not only identify the early warning signs of potentially catastrophic damage, but will also have the evidence they require to demonstrate to their insurer that they have taken every step to mitigate the issue," said Rumbol.
Last October Ship & Bunker reported that insurers have stepped up compliance efforts to reduce the risk of cat fines.