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Sediment problems within VLSFOs detected at six ports

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) issues Bunker Alerts whenever fuel quality matters arise in a specific port, or region, over a short time period. Between December 24, 2019, and January 21, 2020, it has issued seven Bunker Alerts regarding sediment issues within VLSFO fuels.

These alerts show that sediment problems within VLSFOs take place not to a single port, or region, over this recent four week period, as they have been issued in relation to fuel supplied in:

  1. Singapore
  2. Piraeus
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Rotterdam
  5. Miami
  6. San Vincente

“I’ve never known such a concentrated frequency of bunker alerts to be issued in relation to a single fuel quality problem as we have seen with sediment problems in VLSFOs over the past four weeks”, observed Steve Bee, Group Commercial & Business Development Director for VPS.

The chemistry of the new raft of VLSFOs, developed for compliance with IMO 2020, has generated some concern over cold flow properties as well as the potential for fuel instability which can lead to sediment formation.

The first problem sample in Asia was found on April 13 in Port Kelang in Malaysia, which led to a dead ship that had to be towed back to port with all fuel pumps damaged.

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