The bunker industry needs to take up the next set of ISO quality specifications in a much more timely fashion than with previous versions, according to marine fuels firm Integr8 Fuels.
Chris Turner, bunker quality and claims manager at Integr8, discussed the prospect of the new specifications at the IBIA Annual Convention 2023 in Dubai on Wednesday.
While he suggested the ISO 8217: 2024 specifications could become finalised as soon as Q1, he also noted how slow the market has been in making use of previous versions of the document.
Looking at Integr8's data on VLSFO trades so far this year, just 26% were done on the basis of the latest specifications from 2017, Turner said. 72.5% of the trades used the 2010 specifications, and 1.5% were still using the 2005 version.
The 2024 version will include key changes such as referring properly to the VLSFO market for the first time, taking on the emerging biofuel blends market and addressing chlorinated hydrocarbons, thought to be behind last year's HSFO contamination problems in Singapore.
These changes mean the market should be much more prompt this time in taking on board the new specifications, Turner said.
"What it needs is every stakeholder to buy in," he said.
"Everyone who's buying bunkers, get the latest version of the specifications into your charter parties.
"Don't be frightened of the latest version, like some of you are right now because of some of the issues with 2017.
"Embrace it, because if you ask for it, the suppliers will guarantee it."