From 1 January 2015, MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14.4 entered into full effect. This regulation refers to new and stricter requirements on the maximum sulphur content of fuels used by cargo vessels in Emission Control Areas (ECA). More precisely, in the ECA it is not permitted to use fuel which contains a sulphur percentage over 0.1%. The only fuel type that currently offers such a low sulphur percentage is Marine Gas Oil (MGO) whereas most vessels normally use the somewhat cheaper Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).
In order to comply with the new sulphur emission regulations, Clipper decided to convert one HFO tank on six of our 30,000 dwt Trader-type bulk carriers into MGO tanks. The conversion reduces unnecessary costs of frequent bunker operations and delays. Simultaneously, it makes the vessels more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and thereby compliant with current legislation. As an extra benefit, the physical separation of piping makes it very unlikely to mix the two fuel grades by mistake.
One of the converted vessels is Clipper Tarpon. Before the conversion, her MGO tank capacity was 143.4 m3. After the conversion she could contain an impressive 564.4 m3. This improvement allows the vessel to sail for a longer period without additional bunker calls inside emission controlled areas. Our in-house technical department Clipper Fleet Management docked the vessel in Turkey for approximately three weeks during which she also had her piping optimized into separate HFO and MGO systems. The MGO conversion itself took around 8 days and thus did not add to the docking time.
Source and Image Credit: Clipper Group
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