19th December 2011
SHIP OWNERS/OPERATORS MUST TAKE HEED OF SIGNIFICANT
TURKISH SOX REGULATION – SAYS OW BUNKER
0.1% sulphur content in fuels ruling for vessels at berth in ports and transiting inland waterways will present significant safety issues without full understanding of technical challenges.
OW Bunker, one of the world’s leading suppliers and traders of marine fuel, today highlighted the potential safety issues that ship owners and operators will face in Turkish waters when new local sulphur legislation comes into force from 1st January 2012. The ruling, delivered by the Turkish Chamber of Shipping and the Turkish General Directorate of Marine Transport states that:
‘…marine fuels whose sulphur content exceeds 0.1% by mass cannot be used as of 01.01.2012 in the inland vessels and in the vessels on the quay.’1
“This is a significant move by the Turkish authorities and is much more restrictive than current sulphur regulations,” says Steffen Kortegaard, Technical Director, OW Bunker.
The new Turkish regulations mean that 0.1% sulphur content gas oil must be used by vessels calling at Turkish ports between the end of the sea passage and the commencement of the sea passage including in port anchorage areas. The regulation will not be applicable for vessels transiting through the Turkish Straits, such as the Bosporus or Dardanelles, even if they drop anchor providing the vessel maintains transit status. Passenger vessels with domestic liner permit, such as ferries, ro-ro and sea buses must consume 1.5% sulphur content IFO from 1st Jan.2012. This regulation will not be applicable for cruise vessels/lines.
“As we have seen in California, vessels that are used to burning heavy fuel oil face significant technical and safety challenges when switching to low sulphur products in order to allow them to maneuver. Unless the correct procedure is followed and there is a deep knowledge of the technical process, ship owners and operators could face real issues including a loss of power and potentially engine damage which could have a significant impact on downtime and associated maintenance costs.”
OW Bunker advises ship owners and operators to work closely with their fuel suppliers to fully understand the technical issues when switching to low sulphur products. This includes identifying appropriate flash points and safety margins for storing and handling fuels, testing lubricity prior to distillate utilization; ensuring the quality of fuel pumps and appropriately cooling the gas oil; implementing the right training procedures for crews; ensuring that there is a good length of time in changing between fuel oil and gas oil and analyzing the filter pressure; using only duplex filters and making sure that there is compatibility with the blended fuels; fitting a cooler with sufficient capacity in the low viscosity line and frequently testing pumps for leakages, as well as understanding unusual noises that might mean that there is a problem.
Sibel Buyuk, General Manager of OW Bunker’s Turkey operation, said:
“This move stresses the emphasis that the Turkish authorities are placing on environmental progression ahead of existing international regulation. As well as making sure that our customers have access to quality low sulphur products to guarantee compliance, we are also working with them to ensure that they have a full comprehension of the technical challenges that they face. The implementation of the new ruling is less than three weeks away, and it is vital the ship owners and operators are prepared accordingly.”
OW Bunker’s Turkey operation is headquartered in Istanbul and provides quality products and services within all ports in the region.
About OW Bunker:OW Bunker is one of the world’s largest suppliers of marine fuel oil and related services. The Group’s core activity is the global sale of bunkers both from its own physical inventories, where it operates over 30 large and small tankers in its global fleet, as well as an intermediary trader. OW Bunker also provides advanced risk management tools and services in an increasingly unpredictable oil market and volatile global economy, and also purchases and sells entire oil cargoes.
The Group is represented in 24 countries worldwide, spanning Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas and commands more than 8% of the global bunker market.
For further information, please contact:
T: + 44 (0) 7917 138 723