Chevron Marine Lubricants published its new white paper ‘The 2020 Global Sulphur Cap and the role of cylinder oil lubricants’, exploring the impact of vessels burning fuels with differing sulphur contents to heavy sulphur fuel oil cylinder oil use. The paper also provides recommendations from Chevron’s experts on how to manage the transition between cylinder oils pre-and post-2020.
As the date of the implementation of IMO’s sulphur cap is approaching, the restrictions imposed on the global fleet are becoming more and more strict.
According to the paper, HSFO has been the go-to fuel for ocean-going ships since the conversion of the fleet from coal to oil in the early 20th century. However, the entry into force of MARPOL Annex VI in 2005 marked the beginning of a sea-change in the traditional, HSFO-favoured fuel landscape, initially sparked by the enforcement of a global sulphur cap of 4.50% m/m, later lowered to 3.50% in 2012.
Lubrication is the lifeblood of an engine, the dominant function of cylinder oil being to protect the engine from acidic corrosion. Regardless of the compliance route chosen, bunkering low sulphur fuel alternatives versus installation of scrubbers on board, cylinder oil lubricant use will be impacted due to its synergetic relationship with the sulphur content in fuel.
Luc Verbeeke, Senior Engineer, Chevron Marine Lubricants highlighted
Under the rules of the Global Sulphur Cap, fuels with <0.50% sulphur content will drive demand towards lower BN cylinder oils, whereas use of HSFO with sulphur content potentially higher than 3.50%, coupled with the use of scrubber technology, will drive the demand for higher BN cylinder oils.
Ian Thurloway, Brand and Marketing Manager for Chevron Marine Lubricants reported that as an industry leader with one of the best supply networks and a variety of products, Chevron is committed to provide reliable solutions for the marine fuels of the future.
Chevron’s paper focuses also on the impact of over-lubrication, stating that it can have a detrimental effect, impacting liner surface condition and reducing the oil film effectiveness. In ships continuing to burn HSFO or moving to a compliant fuel, used oil analysis should always be conducted to ascertain the optimal feed rate to minimise corrosive and abrasive wear. If corrosion does start to occur, then a switch to a higher BN or a feed rate adjustment may be required.
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