IBIA is seeking confidential feedback from its members to track the contaminated fuel. File Image / Pixabay
Bunker industry body IBIA has asked its members to help it track the potential spread of the contaminated HSFO supplied in Singapore over the past two months to other marine fuel markets around the world.
Last week Singapore's MPA said about 200 ships had received HSFO containing chlorinated hydrocarbons in recent weeks, of which about 80 had reported problems with fuel pumps and engines.
IBIA is now seeking to stop the problem from becoming a global crisis on the scale of the contamination originating in Houston in 2018.
"There are two main ways the chlorinated hydrocarbon problem could spread in the bunker market; either from the cargo containing the contaminated HSFO being shipped somewhere else and blended in a bid to dilute the chloride concentration, or attempts to do the same with contaminated fuel that has been debunkered," IBIA said in an emailed note to members on Tuesday.
"IBIA therefore calls for relevant stakeholders to report to us which ports where ships have, or will, debunker HSFO contaminated with chlorides, and report to us if you have reason to believe cargoes containing chloride contaminated HSFO is headed for specific ports.
"IBIA would collate this information and share it with relevant parties, who in turn can take steps to monitor the situation.
"IBIA assures strict confidentiality as an international association with a robust governing board.
"This could help target at-risk areas with measures such as extra testing to ensure bunkers containing chlorinated hydrocarbons do not cause further damage to ships and, by extension, to the trust and reputation in the marine fuels industry."
IBIA also recommended wider use of GCMS and other advanced testing methods to test HSFO received in recent weeks.