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Hong Kong sets date for clean fuel switch at berth

The Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation, which mandates ocean-going vessels (OGVs) to use clean fuels while berthing in Hong Kong for reducing their emissions so as to improve air quality, will be gazetted this Friday (March 13). The compliant fuels required by the Regulation are low-sulphur marine fuel (sulphur content not exceeding 0.5 per cent), liquefied natural gas and any other fuels approved by the Director of Environmental Protection. "The Regulation prohibits OGVs from using any fuel other than compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong, except during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure. The shipmasters and ship owners are required to record the date and time of fuel switching and keep the relevant records for three years. If an OGV uses technology that can achieve the same or less emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) when compared with using low-sulphur marine fuel, the OGV may be exempted from switching to compliant fuel," a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said. When the Regulation comes into effect, the master and owner concerned of any OGV using non-compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong will be liable to a maximum ...

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Requirements for Vessels Operating on ECA in Mississippi

The Swedish P&I Club has issued bulletin on requirements for vessels operating on ECA compliant fuel in Mississippi after information received from New Orleans. In accordance with MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14.4 and Title 40 CFR 1043.60, the sulfur content of fuel used on board ships operating in the North American Emission Control Area shall not exceed 0.1%. For vessels bound for ports on the Lower Mississippi River, the Captain of the Port in New Orleans has issued the following requirements: 1. Vessel operators shall switch-over to compliant fuel in accordance with the approved shipboard procedures BEFORE entering into the North America Emissions Control Area. 2. All vessels shall report to the U. S. Coast Guard all known or anticipated reductions in maneuverability as a result of using compliant fuel. These reports should include any main engine performance/reduction in available revolutions per minute or delayed responsiveness to engine order commands. 3. When ordering a Mississippi River Pilot vessel operators shall report to the pilot dispatch any change in the vessel's performance as compared to the information stated on the pilot card as a result of using compliant fuel. This same information should be immediately communicated with the pilot assigned to ...

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Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel Oil & Compliance with MARPOL Requirements

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) issued marine safety alert as a reminder to vessel owners and operators about the importance of establishing effective fuel oil changeover procedures to comply with MARPOL Annex VI emission regulations.  Recently, there have been several reported incidents involving substantial machinery space fuel leakages while vessels were switching fuel oil to ensure compliance. Although such leakages were contained, fuel releases of any kind may result in pollution, injury or death of personnel and shipboard engine room fires. Moreover, many losses of propulsion have occurred in different ports and have been associated with changeover processes and procedures. On January 1, 2015, the new fuel oil sulfur limit authorized by MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14.3.4 came into effect, lowering fuel sulfur content from 1.0% to 0.10%.1 The 0.10% fuel sulfur content must be used the entire time the vessel is operating in the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas (ECA). As a result, vessels using higher sulfur content fuels must change to ultra low sulfur (ULS) fuel oil to comply. The vessels must use the ULS fuel oil on inbound and outbound transits, at the dock, and anytime within the ECA. Meeting this requirement requires ...

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Steamship Club advises on ULS change-over operations

The Steamship P&I Club has issued a Risk Alert regarding Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil Change-over Procedures. The Club warns that some boilers may not have been originally designed to burn lighter fuel types and may need modification. From 1 January 2015, for ships without an approved and effective exhaust gas scrubber operating within an Emission Control Area (ECA), the sulphur content of fuel oil used should not exceed 0.10% by mass (10 ppm). All main and auxiliary engines and boilers are affected by the Regulation, meaning that vessels using heavy fuel oil must have completed the change-over process and operate on ultra-low sulphur fuel upon entering an ECA. Note: Prior to 1 January 2020, the sulphur content limit of fuel oil shall not apply to ships operating in the North American ECA or the United States Caribbean Sea area that were built on or before 1 August 2011 and are powered by propulsion boilers that were not originally designed for continued operation on marine distillate fuel or natural gas. Ships operating within the European ECA have become familiar with existing European legislation where the maximum sulphur content of fuels used by ships at berth has not been allowed to ...

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Overview of fuel changeover issues and challenges

ICS and ECSA have jointly issued a guide to give assistance to ship owners, operators and crew to prepare for the changes in fuel characteristics and compliance with the new sulphur limits for ships fuel used in in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) as of January 1, 2015.  Furthermore, they have recently issued a paper to give an overview of the 'fuel changeover' issues and challenges as they affect ECA- SOx compliance. This overview of the key technical and operational aspects faced by ships when undertaking fuel changeover on entering an ECA-SOx is intended to provide competent authorities with an insight into the particular issues and challenges of that process when assessing compliance with the EU Sulphur Directive 2012/33/EC There are a number of technical and operational issues related to the use of these LSDFO type fuels in marine systems, however in terms of the changeover process itself and the demonstration of compliance the following would be identified as themajor issues: Flushing through of the fuel oil service system High fuel temperature changes  HSRFO pick up from dead end pockets Cleaning action mobilising deposits  Flushing time   Managing the changeover transition  Maine diesel engine fuel oil injection systems generally use ram type pumps to provide the injection pressures required. ...

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Preventing Losses of Propulsion and Improving Fuel Switching Safety

The US Coast Guard District Eleven, which includes the State of California in its remit, has published a Marine Information Safety Bulletin on how to prevent losses of propulsion and improve fuel switching safety. Preventing Loss of Propulsion  An extensive analysis of loss of propulsion incidents in California has revealed that the leading causes include general mechanical issues, lack of maintenance, start air system issues including insufficient start air pressure, and issues with fuel oil systems.   Advanced planning and preventive maintenance are critical to the proper operation of a vessel’s main engine and prevention of losses of propulsion. In order to manage risk and improve safety, vessel owners and operators should: Maintain: Ensure manufacturer’s technical publications are onboard and sufficient equipment/spare parts are available to perform routine preventive maintenance; Establish a rigorous inspection and maintenance schedule; Ensure engine components are maintained in serviceable condition and operated per manufacturer’s guidelines, particularly start air valves and fuel system seals, gaskets, flanges, fittings, brackets and supports; Train: Conduct initial familiarization and periodic crew training on pertinent systems and IMO/U.S./State requirements; Check Fuel Systems: Exercise tight control, when possible, over the quality of fuel oils received; Ensure fuel system components are operational, including ...

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