‘Houston, we have a bunker problem’: VPS

Netherlands-based fuel management company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) is warning that at least 30 vessels using fuel oil that was bunkered in Houston, Texas, have been suffering problems caused by fuel contamination.

VPS issued a first bunker alert on Saturday (May 26) but has followed it up with results from its own in-house testing to determine that the affected ships all had high concentrations of the phenolic compound 4-Cumyl-Phenol in the fuel samples.

The contaminant was leading most notably to the sticking of fuel plungers and to seizure and failures of fuel pumps.

One of VPS’ four fuel test laboratories around the world is in Houston.

In its statement VPS noted: “The presence of this contaminant is in violation of Clause 5 of ISO 8217 which states ‘The fuel should not include any added substance or chemical waste which jeopardizes the safety or adversely affects the performance of the machinery; or is harmful to personnel; or contributes overall to additional air pollution.”

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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