IUMI calls for refineries to be forced to conduct testing on low sulphur fuels

The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) is trying to force refineries to conduct testing on low sulphur fuels ahead of the introduction of the global sulphur cap next year.

The global association gave a winter update to journalists earlier this week in which it discussed the fuel issues as well as the spate of ship casualties seen in recent months.

IUMI said in a statement prepared for the media that it is concerned that incidents of fuel contamination are increasing.

Currently, fuel testing is undertaken by the end-user, but this ought to change, IUMI suggested.

“Since governments oblige ship operators to burn certain grades of fuel, IUMI believes refineries should be compelled to conduct testing and confirm the delivery of non-contaminated fuel. If action is not taken to ensure reduced contamination, IUMI is concerned that the shipping industry will be faced with additional expense which insurance will not automatically cover,” the insurance body stated.

Low sulphur fuel supply is not consistent around the world with IUMI pointing out this type of fuel often contains a high level of cat fines which onboard systems and processes often fail to filter out. Differences in flashpoint and combustibility are also evident.

IUMI is calling for regulation that obliges refineries to guarantee the quality of their fuel and for vessel operators to enhance their systems, processes and training to protect their vessels against the potential impact of using low sulphur bunkers.

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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