The Shipping Industry’s Challenge as it Adapts to Sulphur Restrictions

The hopes of the shipping and bunker refining industries that the global 0.5% sulphur-in-fuel cap would be deferred from 2020 to 2025 appear to have been dashed.

0.5% by 2020

Masamichi Morooka, director of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), announced in February that although postponement was ‘still a possibility’, the industries should be prepared for a 2020 implementation – whatever the cost implications of the lack of availability of compliant fuel.

The fuel availability study, which the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is legally required to complete before the end of 2018, had given the ICS grounds for lobbying for the fuel cap to be postponed, as any supply problems identified in 2018 would leave governments with too little time to react.

Meanwhile, regardless of what the IMO decides, the European Union is set to apply the 0.5% limit to all international shipping within 200 miles of any EU member state by 2020.

This makes it very likely that the EU will push for global implementation in 2020 in order to head off the possibility that, between then and 2025, non-compliant shipping will attempt to get round the restriction by forging a narrow shipping corridor off North Africa.

Early impact of 0.1% cap

The shipping world is already seeing the effects of the 0.1% cap on sulphur-in-fuel in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), introduced on 1st January this year.

In the US bunker market, buyers’ interest in 0.1% fuel oil has been subdued, a reflection of the financial, managerial and other uncertainties surrounding low sulphur fuel oil.  The main challenges include the need for engines to be modified, largely because of the difference in oil viscosity, and the expense of the alternatives, notably scrubbing technology (especially if the vessel will only briefly pass through an ECA) or switching to LNG.

However, non-US suppliers are spotting fresh opportunities and tackling the availability problem.  A new refinery in Cartegena, which is to produce 0.1% sulphur fuel oil, is well placed to supply fuel for ships heading to ECA areas.

Shipping companies have begun to turn to new technologies in recent months in response to the 0.1% cap.  Passenger ferries are largely favouring scrubber installation, and inland shipping is inclining towards LNG, but most other shipping has opted to move away from residual fuel and towards distillate in the form of low sulphur Marine Gas Oil , for which there is already a reliable bunker supply chain.  Other companies are investigating biofuels and fuel cells.

In ECAs, fuel oil has to be tested before loading to ensure it complies with the limits (and, in the case of compliant oil, to check it has not been mixed with higher-sulphur oils during the transfer process).  Parker Kittiwake has built a reputation as a global leader in bunker fuel testing and oil sampling solutions, for more information please call the team on +44 1903 731470.

Quick, reliable on-vessel fuel testing

When a vessel is located in a remote part of the world, a product that allows its crew to test fuel samples without sending them off-site for confirmation will save both time and labour costs.

Even when docked in a major port, local customs regulations or reliance on couriers to deal with logistics can cause delay in getting the analysis data to the right people

On-site fuel labs
Of course, to be effective the product must be robust, accurate and quick to use without in-depth prior training – a specification met by the core electronic QC tests lubricants and residual fuel oils in Parker Kittiwake’s power plant lab.  Supplied in a wall-mounted cabinet, it is designed for use at installations in inhospitable locations.

Both this lab and the fuel and lube lab feature a density meter, which can also be purchased as a stand-alone product.  Tests have shown it is as accurate as more formal laboratory method.  Additionally, its uses are not restricted to measuring diesel and residual bunker fuel density: for example, it will also check that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered, according to ISO 8217.

The Parker Kittiwake Heated Viscometer can be used in a wide variety of applications.  Not only monitoring changes in lubricating oil viscosity, it also verifies that the fuel is the correct grade for storage and purifiers.

Testing for water contamination and the cloud point
In any harsh, industrial environment, water contamination can lead to microbiological growth that will clog filters and corrode fuel systems. The DIGI Water in Oil test comes with an ‘easyship’ reagent system, with comprehensive reagent packs for 50 tests.

Lastly, crews of vessels in arctic waters need a straightforward way of identifying the temperature at which wax crystals begin to form in a distillate fuel (the ‘cloud point’). Kittiwake’s highly portable Cloud Point Detector works by cooling an oil sample and monitoring the intensity of light transmission.

A test usually takes just ten minutes.

See our full list of On-Site Fuel Lab products.

The essential checks during bunker sampling

Regulations for bunker sampling are set out in MARPOL Annex VI, though specific rules drawn up by some ports and companies need to be noted too.

As well as inspecting their equipment for any dirt or damage prior to sampling, the ship operating company should follow the regulations and take additional precautions to ensure both accountability and fuel quality.

Accountability
The following actions will minimise the chances of supplier-receiver disputes:
–    Both the supplier and the receiver need to be on hand to confirm the completion of the process
–    The sample should be poured into several smaller containers and the labels signed by both parties
–    The seal numbers must be written on the sample labels as well as in the Bunker Delivery Note (which both parties should sign and counter-sign).

Fuel quality
The cutter stock should be introduced very gradually to the residual fuel while the contents of the bunker tank are pumped around; insufficient blending will lead to inconsistent or unrepresentative samples.  Changes in the flow of the sample will alert the operator to possible blending problems.

Similarly, the mixture of new fuel and fuel already in the tank (if it is not completely empty) can be chemically unstable, which is why some form of on-vessel testing method can be useful.
If an analysis shows that the flashpoint temperature has fallen below 60°C (though there are certain exceptions), the fuel must be extracted from the vessel as soon as possible and put aside.  A further flashpoint test should be carried out before the fuel is offloaded to avoid subsequent expensive pumping operations.

Even small improvements in fuel quality can make a positive difference further down the line, in terms of prolonging the lifespan of pumps, pistons and other machinery.  Time and energy spent spotting potential problems before the fuel is on-board makes sound financial sense.

Parker Kittiwake supplies lightweight, easily installed Fuel Drip Bunker Samplers, used by shipping companies across the globe.

All aboard a new Port Charter to tackle fuel quality

An initiative to improve the quality and transparency of the bunker fuel supply chain was agreed at the annual convention of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) in Hamburg earlier this month.

Ports signing up to a new Port Charter will need to show that they administer a licensing scheme for bunker suppliers.  The Charter also commits them to ensuring there are suitably qualified staff working in the supply chain and to establishing workable testing procedures.

Industry-wide scrutiny

So far, the ports of Rotterdam, Gibraltar and Singapore have indicated that they will support the Charter.

The proposals, backed by industry group International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), had met some opposition at recent sessions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Maritime Environment Protection Committee meeting.  However, the Committee eventually agreed to set up a correspondence group to formulate draft guidance on fuel oil quality assurance, and to examine whether the existing legal framework was fit for purpose.  A compromise acceptable to all parties was reached by the time delegates gathered in Hamburg.

Raising bunkering standards

Prior to the IMO’s deliberations, IBIA Chairman Jens Maul Jørgensen had voiced his concerns about a lack of respect for ISO standards.  Mr Jørgensen’s view, reported by ShippingWatch, was that robust regulation had to replace voluntary agreements in order to compel suppliers to follow certain criteria.  He also wanted a system in place for revoking licences and preventing unregistered suppliers from operating at ports.

Checks on fuel quality have become increasingly important since an array of new fuel offerings emerged in the wake of the MARPOL Annexe V1, which sets limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts.  In 2015, sulphur content in marine fuel used in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will be limited to 0.10% by weight or lower.

The IBIA’s Hamburg convention also featured a workshop on the mass flow meter, provided by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, along with presentations from industry-leading figures on topics such as emerging markets and new fuels.

See the Parker Kittiwake website for information on fuel oil testing.

Importance of Bunker Fuel Sampling

Testing bunker fuel, the fuel oil used by ocean going ships or the tanks they’re stored in, is vital when it comes to bunkering processes. Marine fuel deliveries are measured by volume but paid for by mass, so testing allows ship owners to measure density and water content to calculate the mass of fuel delivered, ensuring the fuel is within the required specification under ISO 8217. Bunker fuel samples are also maintained for port state inspection under MARPOL 73/78 Annex VI, the regulation for the prevention of air pollution from ships.

Traditionally bunker fuel testing has been done off-site, with fuel samples being transported to a laboratory for testing. Whilst this practice remains still widely in place, on-site sampling can now be carried out in some circumstances.

Parker Kittiwake provide a number of tools to help with bunker fuel testing. Here we’ve listed three of our key tools used for bunker fuel testing:

Bunker fuel density
It is essential to measure density due to the way fuel is supplied. The fuel is delivered from a bunker barge and the volume of the transfer is measured, often by a meter. But the mass is directly proportional to the power that can be gained from using the fuel, so an accurate density calculation has a direct financial value. An on-site marine fuel density meter, such as the one from Parker Kittiwake, will accurately convert fuel volume to density – verifying that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered under ISO 8217. The meter can also estimate the combustion performance (CCAI) and correct viscosity in cP to cSt.

Bunker fuel oil viscosity
Testing the viscosity of fuel oil is important for several reasons, not only does it allow ship owners to verify that the correct grade of fuel has been delivered but there are also several benefits when it comes to the handling of the oil. Testing allows for the combustion performance to be calculated and determines the temperature at which the fuel should be handled. The Parker Kittiwake Heated Viscometer tests the viscosity of both residual fuel and  lube oil from a wide variety of applications, including diesel engines, gas and aviation turbines, gear boxes, hydraulics and marine fuels.

Water testing
The ISO 8217:2010 states that the amount of water found in fuel oil should not exceed 0.5% for residual fuels, and whilst most fuels contain less than 0.2%, water contamination can happen. Water contamination can occur from a number of sources, including leakage from oil coolers, condensation of atmospheric humidity and leakage at tank tents, to name a few. Water contamination within lubricating / lube oil storage tanks can lead to microbiological growth, forming yeast, mould and bacteria that will clog filters and very rapidly corrode fuel systems. The DIGI Water in Oil test kit has been used by thousands of ship operators over the last 20 years to check for both water in oil and BN depending upon the specification ordered.

Marine Fuel Oil Compatibility
Fuel oil compatibility testing tests the tendency of fuels to produce deposits when mixed. Our compatibility tester is a useful tool to quickly establish whether a fuel delivery will remain stable in the bunker tanks without excessive asphaltene drop-out, identify any problems in the stability of the blended fuels and help to prevent sludge deposits.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470
Email: kittiwakeinfo@parker.com

The Problems Delaying the Switch to LNG in Shipping Fuel

The shipping industry has found itself doing a U-turn when it comes to the use of LNG as shipping fuel. In the face of stricter emissions regulations coming into play in January 2015, ships must turn to an alternative, low sulphur fuel source. However, whilst the challenges of using LNG have previously made it an unpopular alternative, the shipping industry is now coming around to it as a shipping fuel.

LNG – liquefied natural gas –consists mainly of Methane, which is converted to liquid form at extremely low temperatures of -162°C. This shrinks the volume of the gas 600 times, making it easier to store and transport.

One of the main challenges of using LNG as shipping fuel is its unique properties, which make the switch from conventional fuels to LNG a difficult one.

LNG stored at low – cryogenic – temperatures
Due to the incredibly low temperatures needed to store LNG fuel, special storage tanks must be used in order to protect the rest of the vessel and crew. Only special materials can come into contact with the cryogenic temperatures of LNG, such as stainless steel, aluminium and Invar. Contact with personnel must also be avoided, making the design of LNG tanks much more intricate than those for conventional fuels.

Larger storage space needed
The storage space required for LNG is four times higher than the space needed for conventional fuels, such as diesel, for the same range. A safe area around the tank is needed in case of any accidental spillage, further increasing the storage space required.

Tanks must be ventilated
LNG shouldn’t be stored in an enclosed space due to its volatile nature. Therefore a ventilation system is essential.

LNG facilities are limited
As the shipping industry is only just beginning to wake up to the opportunities of LNG fuel, bunkering facilities are still very limited. For some ships it may be necessary to provide a back-up fuel option to ensure fuel availability.

Yet, despite these challenges, demand for LNG fuelled ships is expected to increase as a result of the new regulations. Currently there are only 40 LNG fuelled ships in operation around the world. But a recent study by Lloyd’s Register predicted there could be as many as 653 deep-sea fuelled LNG ships in operation by 2025, as ship operators search for a long-term solution.

For further information contact us on:
Tel: +44 1903 731470
Email: kittiwakeinfo@parker.com

Parker Kittiwake products to feature at Nor Shipping 2013

 

Kititwake Bunker Samplers

From the 4th to 7th June, Parker Kittiwake will be featuring a selection of products at Nor Shipping, the leading maritime exhibition and conference, taking place in Oslo.

Visit us on the Parker Hannifin stand E02-15 to see, not only Parker’s Kittiwake’s condition monitoring and sampling solutions, but also Parker Hannifin’s range of motion and control technology.

We hope to see you there!

marketing@kittiwake.com

Parker Kittiwake exhibiting condition monitoring offering at Maintec 2013

Focus On 2 Maintec Graphic

From the 5th – 7th March, Parker Kittiwake will be exhibiting at Maintec, the UK’s premier show for maintenance and asset management, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham.

Parker Kittiwake will be displaying a range of their condition monitoring and acoustic emissions monitoring products on booth H21 in hall 6. Furthermore, Dr Trevor Holroyd, Technical Director at Parker Kittiwake will be speaking on the topic of ‘the application of acoustic emission to detect ineffective lubrication in operating machinery’.

We hope to see you there!

marketing@kittiwake.com

Parker Kittiwake awarded ISO 14001 Environmental Management standard

Following a detailed technical review and assessment process carried out by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), Parker Kittiwake is delighted to announce that it has been awarded the ISO 14001 Environmental Management certificate.

ISO 14001 Environmental Management is an internationally recognised standard outlining how to implement an effective environmental management system. It recognises investment in reducing waste and energy use, improving efficiency and meeting legal obligations.

Steve Dye, Business Development Manager at Parker Kittiwake, commented: “Achieving the ISO 14001 Environmental Management certificate highlights Parker Kittiwake’s ongoing efforts to work towards greater environmental sustainability. It sets an industry standard for all to work towards and will help Parker Kittiwake meet customer expectations while maintaining both our corporate and regulatory responsibilities.

“The next stage in the process of ISO 14001 Environmental Management is to maintain our high standards and work towards the next assessment that will be carried out in May 2013. This is a great achievement that cements Parker Kittiwake’s credentials as an environmentally responsible company.”

Click here to download the certificate.

Parker Kittiwake Developments acquired by Parker Hannifin

 

 

 

CLEVELAND, July 16, 2012 — Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE: PH), the global leader in motion and control technologies, today announced that it has acquired Kittiwake Developments Limited based in Littlehampton, United Kingdom. Kittiwake Developments is a leading manufacturer of condition monitoring technology including wear debris sensors, oil testing and analysis instrumentation and acoustic, vibration and gas emissions monitoring sensors. These products are used alongside filtration technology in the commercial marine, oil and gas, power generation and defence markets.

The acquired business has annual sales of approximately $20 million and employs 95 people. Kittiwake Developments will be integrated into Parker’s Filtration Group and the sales will be reported as part of the International Industrial Segment.

“Kittiwake Developments will allow us to extend our position in diagnostic products and reinforce our ability to offer our customers complete health monitoring solution for their filtration systems,” said Peter Popoff, President of Parker’s Filtration Group. “We welcome the employees of Kittiwake to Parker and are excited about the growth opportunities this combination creates.”

With annual sales exceeding $12 billion in fiscal year 2011, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 58,000 people in 47 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 56 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.parker.com, or its investor information web site at www.phstock.com.

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