North P&I Club Warns of VLSFO Risks With Heat-Sensitive Cargo

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday June 17, 2020

The cold flow properties of some very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) blends may be at odds with the need to protect heat-sensitive cargo on board some vessels, according to insurance association North P&I.

For blends that require heating to avoid wax formation and other problems, ship operators will need to be aware of the risk of damaging any heat-sensitive cargo they are carrying, North said in an emailed note Tuesday.

"There is a risk that the temperature of the fuel in tanks located adjacent to cargo holds could damage heat-sensitive cargo," Alvin Forster, a loss prevention executive at North, wrote in the note.

"For example, according to BMT's Cargo Handbook, a bulk cargo of raw sugar is at risk of caking at temperatures as low as 25°C.

"If cargo is loaded into a hold located above a hot double-bottom fuel tank, there is a significant chance of damage occurring."

The note suggests moving any fuel with a high paraffinic content to a tank that is not adjacent to cargo holds in such cases, if possible without causing contamination of the fuel.