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Low-sulphur fuel

September 15th 2010

The use of low-sulphur fuel is in danger of creating a new wave of major loss claims for the insurance industry.

Restrictions on the sulphur levels in fuels used by vessels in the North Sea are already seeing claims for engine damage as the need to purify the low-sulphur fuels for catalytic fines is leading to rising numbers of engine losses.

"The fines have the potential to seriously damage the engine," he told delegates. "Already we have seen several losses where fines have damaged engines or caused engine failure.
He also urged masters and engineers to check the quality of the fuel they were taking on board and warned them to ensure they sent off their samples for testing. "All too many will keep the sample on board and only produce it when there is a loss or/and incident by which time it is too late," warned Mr Williams. The quality of the bunker will impact on the performance of the fuel and its effect on the ship's engines."

IUMI chairman Peter McIntosh said: "When vessels look to enter an area where there is a low-sulphur requirement the engines have to be shut down in order for the necessary adjustments for the fuel change to be made. A vessel without power is at risk of drifting and therefore the danger of grounding or collision will increase."

Source : Lloyd's List

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