IBIA: "Something is Wrong" as Off-Spec Fuel Reaches All Time High

Wednesday February 19, 2014

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) has called on bunker suppliers to adopt the ISO 8217:2010 specifications for marine fuel.

"ECO vessels are now entering the market equipped with engines which are more sensitive than vessels have ever had before," IBIA Vice-Chairman Jens Maul Jorgensen told attendees attending Monday's annual IBIA dinner at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

"The ISO specs were agreed four years ago because there was a real need for them. Yet only 25% of suppliers are supplying in accordance with these specs."

"Indeed tested samples which were found to be off-spec reached an all time high in 2013 with one quarter not reaching the required standards. Something is wrong."

IBIA said it is working to address the problem and has submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) calling for clarity and transparency in the marine fuel supply chain.

It has also made a number of other recommendations including data collection from bunker suppliers, a process for authorities and inspectors to report non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI, regulations to minimise the risk of non-compliant fuels arising from fuel blending activity, enforcement procedures to ensure that ship operators can have a greater degree of confidence in their suppliers, and the collection of data from fuel suppliers, fuel testing companies and shipping companies to identify the root cause of fuel quality problems.

IBIA says it will be engaging with shipowners directly at a series of forums around the world, to give practical advice about fuel quality standards and avoiding problems.

The first of these forums takes place March 10, 2014 at the International Parcel Tanker Association/Navigate Chemical & Product Tanker conference in London.