Drew Marine
Drew Marine

Low Sulfur Regulatory Solutions

With the addition of the United States and Canada ECA (Emission Control Area) on August 1, 2012, bunker buyers and ship operators must be aware of issues and challenges that may arise when purchasing, handling and burning lower sulfur fuel that is mandated in designated areas. At least two different sulfur limits now exist. In certain zones, IMO regulations require fuels with 1.0% or less sulfur content in geographic regions designated as ECA’s. Additionally, in an increasing number of ports, 0.1% sulfur content must be used while at berth. To meet these requirements, bunker suppliers will have different alternatives available depending on what feedstocks are available locally. These low sulfur fuel oils may be comprised of specially refined residual oil, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel oil designed for motor vehicles and trains, and biodiesel. Refinery produced ultra-low sulfur fuel may have sulfur content as low as 0.0015%. Biodiesel naturally contains nearly zero sulfur content.

For more specific regulatory information, CLICK HERE to download the IMO RESOLUTION MEPC.176(58). For additional details regarding the United States and Canada ECA, CLICK HERE.

Each low sulfur alternative presents potential operating challenges, such as compatibility, lubricity and biological contamination. These fuel differences must be understood, as they may have a significant impact on engine performance and wear. Fortunately, each challenge can be mitigated by its initial identification, and then designing a solution with Drew Marine’s fuel treatment products and services. Your Drew Marine account executive should be your first resource in assuring you the right services and products to minimize any operating problems caused by low sulfur fuels.

Finally, a basic problem for a ship operator is simply allocating sufficient time for fuel oil change-over from high sulfur to low sulfur content prior to entering an ECA or designated port area. Drew Marine has prepared a simple table that can be used to calculate the estimated time required to flush the high sulfur content from the fuel oil service system.

To download the LSFO Calculator table, CLICK HERE.

For more information on this and other fuel management regulations, please contact your local Drew Marine account executive.