As the issues with contaminated bunker supplies in the Houston area seem to acquire a global dimension, the Standard P&I Club published loss prevention advice informing that this issue is related to over 150 claims worldwide, including a ship grounding directly attributed to the use of these contaminated bunkers.
Contaminated IFO 380 bunkers in the US Gulf have resulted in a significant number of vessels experiencing system clogging and, in more extreme cases, engine damage, North Club warned. The contamination has been linked to the use of fuel oil cutter stock, a product added to residual fuels to reduce viscosity.
Following continued bunker issues in the US Gulf, the UK Club published a short FAQ in conjunction with Brookes Bell. These claims appear to relate to fuel bunkered late March-May this year, with the problems manifest variously in the form of sticking and seizure of fuel injection system components and blocking of fuel filters.
Skuld P&I Club issued best practice advice on storage of bunker samples, which provide vital evidence to support claims against suppliers and to provide protection when ships are facing PSC. Masters should retain the bunker samples onboard to determine the quality specification and to demonstrate compliance with Annex VI bunker sulphur limits.
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