Bunker fuel contamination has been discovered in Houston, Texas Ship’s crew

Marine Fuel Testing Company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) says It has uncovered a case of marine fuel pollution in Houston, Texas.

The company says the contaminated fuel was delivered by a single supplier between March and May this year. Problems with the fuel were not recognized until it was burned several weeks after bunkering.

Eleven ships using the fuel have reported a power outage and a consequent loss of propulsion, VPS said.

VPS analysis of the contaminated fuel revealed high concentrations of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and associated isomers in the VLSFO bunker fuel. The detected DCPD compounds ranged from 3,000 to 7,000 ppm and over time caused damage to the fuel injection system and excessive sludge formation.

This impact resulted from fuel leaks in the ICU (Injection Control Unit) units and fuel pumps’ inability to build up the required fuel pressure, resulting in failures of both the main and auxiliary engines, although auxiliary engines were more frequently affected.

Hundreds of tankers and container ships in Houston, Malaysia and Singapore were hit by a widespread fuel pollution problem in 2018, with some suffering damage such as dirty fuel, clogged filters and clogged injection pumps.

Last year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) launched an investigation after learning that a number of ships had been supplied with High Sulfur Fuel Oil (HSFO) containing high levels of chlorinated organic compounds (COC). , which are not normally found in bunker fuel.

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