3rd January 2019

Over the last seven days, Intertek Lintec has tested a number of fuel oil bunker samples from vessels that have taken fuel in JEBEL ALI that have shown levels of catalytic fines (Aluminium + Silicon) and ash content above the ISO 8217 : 2012 / 2017 limits.
The range of data gained has shown the results for cat fines to be well outside of the 95% confidence interval for the test (greater than 72ppm) with tested values being in excess of several hundred ppm, the worst being 492ppm.

Catalytic fines appear in marine fuel oils as a direct result of the cracking process. Compounds contain Aluminium and Silicon are commonly used as the catalyst in the oil refining process and in a properly run cat-cracker are removed in slurry collected at the end of the process and recycled.
However, due to inefficiencies in this process some fines can be missed and do not go through to be recycled. These fines get carried into the process itself and end up in the residual oil.
Cat fines are extremely hard and abrasive and if they are not removed, possible wear damage may occur to fuel pump plungers and barrel, injector needles and they may also cause increased cylinder liner and piston ring wear.

If your vessel recently bunkered in / around the JEBEL ALI area we would strongly recommend that you have knowledge of the quality of the fuel prior to use.
Ensure that the samples are taken correctly together with the supplier at the custody transfer point (Barge Manifold / Receiving Vessel Manifold) and witnessed by the ship’s crew. The seal numbers of the samples drawn on the basis of the contract of supply must be recorded on the Bunker Delivery Note (BDN).
If you wish to discuss any of the points highlighted in this bunker alert, please feel free to contact our technical team on +44 (0)1325 390183 or email lintec.results@intertek.com.