New regulations issued in Hong Kong, China to restrict sulfur content in bunker fuel oil
On July 1, 2015, Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong, China issued a new regulation, requiring ocean-going ships not to use fuel oil containing over 0.5% sulfur content during the berthing period in Hong Kong, China except for the first hour and the last hour. Low-sulfur has been a trend, but low-sulfur fuel oil does harm to equipment of vessels, how should ship owners cope with this?LOW SULFUR FUEL OIL DAMAGES SHIP EQUIPMENTS
For its’ low density, viscosity, lubricity, flash point, sulfur content and high heat of combustion, low sulfur fuel oil could damage ship equipments in the following ways.
- CAUSE TROUBLE IN FUEL OIL SUPPLY SYSTEM
The viscosity of fuel oil is between 2.0～4.0cSt when the sulfur content of fuel oil is lower than 0.5 %( m/m). Too low viscosity could cause trouble in fuel oil supply system.
- ACCELERATE WEAR OF PUMP COMPONENT
Sulfur can increase lubricity of fuel oil. Low sulfur fuel oil could lead to low lubricity and accelerate wear of pump component.
- CAUSE FIRE OR EXPLOSION ACCIDENTS
Low sulfur fuel oil could cause fire or explosion accidents for its’ low flash point.
To decrease the adverse influence of low sulfur fuel oil to the ship equipments, ship-owners could test and monitor to ensure quality of their fuel oil, and renovate their vessel equipment specifically so as to prevent from their large-scale renovations and reduce their loss.
- Install cooler to make sure the viscosity of fuel oil is higher than 2cSt;
- Set the oil tank;
- Use piping materials and pump which can carry low sulfur fuel oil;
- Install automatic transfer equipment in fuel oil system;
- Choose a third party inspection institution with rich experience to manage and monitor the oil quality.
With its’ global network and 35 well-equipped professional laboratories, SGS could provide fuel oil testing and inspection services to ship-owners.