Maersk Says Human Error to Blame for 2 Instances of Noncompliance with ECA Sulfur Regs

Wednesday February 14, 2018

Maersk has highlighted that, even when the best efforts are made, noncompliance with marine fuel sulfur regs can still happen.

In its latest Sustainability Report, the world's largest box carrier said in 2017 it registered two instances of noncompliance - both of which were caused by human error and did not result in any financial benefit to the company.

"In March 2017, a non-compliance was determined on a Maersk Line vessel calling at Long Beach in California, with the sulphur content at nearly 0.2% in an area where the sulphur cap is 0.1%. The internal investigation confirmed that the vessel carried compliant fuel, and that the contamination was due to a human error in the switchover procedure," Maersk said.

"In July 2017, a Maersk Line vessel in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, was in breach of the area's fuel sulphur limit of 0.1%. Our internal investigation found that the vessel's low sulphur fuel tank had been contaminated due to human error in operating two butterfly valves between the ship's high sulphur and low sulphur fuel tanks. The contamination raised the sulphur level in the low sulphur fuel tank to around 0.2 %. We carried out a complete cleaning of the low-sulphur tanks and the onboard systems, have implemented specific procedures to avoid this kind of contamination on all relevant vessels."

Maersk is a long standing member of the Trident Alliance, which advocates for robust enforcement of maritime sulfur regulations.