From January 1st, 2015 vessels operating in ECA will be required to comply to 0,10% sulphur content
On 1 January 2015 the sulphur requirements in Emission Control Areas (ECA) will be stricter again. At that time vessels operating in ECA will be required to comply to a sulphur content of just 0,10 per cent.
The SOx requirements apply to all fuel oils as defined inMARPOL Annex VI Reg.2.9. Currently there are four (4) designated ECA’s which includes;
Compliance with the new ECA requirements can be obtained by either using ECA compliant fuel at all times, or to switch to low sulphur fuel when entering an ECA. When switching to ECA compliant fuel oil, it is required to have a “written procedure showing how the fuel oil change over is to be done” according to MARPOL Annex VI Reg.14.6.
The detailed change over procedure should be readable available and the ship’s crew shall be familiar with it. Further it is required that the change-over process is fully completed before entering the ECA. A logbook for registering the fuel oil change-over has to be kept on board as prescribed by the Administration.
A major challenge is the low viscosity of the fuel oils which might cause leakages on the diesel engines, boilers andpumps. Internal leakages in fuel supply and fuel injection pumps, might result in reduced fuel supply to the engine,which will have consequences for the engine performance (e.g. starting of engine). Ship owners may consider installing fuel pumps and injection nozzles which adapt to fuel with low viscosity. Too low viscosity oil will lead toincreased wear or seizure of fuel oil pumps.
Because of the explosion risks connected to the use of highly volatile fuels on board ships, IMO has banned the use of fuels with a flashpoint lower than 60 degrees Celsius. An internal study has shown that most of the low sulphur fuel oils have a flashpoint lower than 60 degrees.These fuel oils should not be used on board and shall be handled in accordance with instructions from the Flag Administration and Class Society.
Please note that the flashpoint is part of the Bunker Delivery Note.It might be advisable to install cooler or chiller units inthe fuel or return line to prevent that the fuel oil is heated above 40 degrees Celsius which will lead to lower viscosity and hence may concur problems with the diesel engines,boilers, pumps etc. as described.
Ship owners should be aware that MARPOL Annex VI Reg.4.1 allows the use of alternative compliance measures provided that the vessels flag administration certifies that these installations are “at least as effective in terms of emissions reductions as that required”.
Source: DNV GL