Dangerously defective new fuels detected across Europe

Europe is grappling with multiple cases of defective low sulphur fuel oil with the IMO 2020 regulation less than two weeks away.

FOBAS, the fuel verification company owned by class society Lloyd’s Register, has issued alerts this week about non-compliant fuels cropping up across the continent.

In Estonia, one ship using VLSFO made from shale oil encountered sludging, particularly during purification and around its filters. FOBAS warned there is historic evidence of fuel containing Estonian shale oil creating sludging issues and that other vessels are likely to face similar issues.

In Western Europe, meanwhile, FOBAS warned it had detected a number of cases of high and off-spec sediment fuels being sold at the port of Antwerp as well as at Rotterdam and Amsterdam. These defective types of fuel could result in excessive sludge deposition leading to engine and turbocharger damage.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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