Before IMO 2020 comes into force on 1st January 2020, refiners, bunker suppliers, ship owners and operators need to have a strategy in place for ensuring all fuel storage tanks allocated to Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) or Marine Gas Oil (MGO) have been cleaned properly as part of their implementation plan. Tanks contaminated with the sediments and asphaltene sludge from Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) will render any new fuel non-compliant.
As everyone knows, traditional tank and pipeline cleaning methods are expensive and require detailed planning. Dock space has to be booked well in advance and a specialist cleaning company hired to carry out the work. Manually cleaning storage tanks is also difficult, dirty and hard work. It involves entering enclosed spaces which has significant health and safety implications. All this takes time which means the vessel is out of use for an extended period.
The best solution is to use our Octamar™ tank cleaning additives to clean storage tanks in service prior to switching to a new compliant fuel. By adding Octamar™ series, sludge is dispersed into the fuel gradually
during a gentle clean up period, meaning that there is little to no sludge to dispose of before tank reallocation. What is more, the whole fuel system is cleaned including pipework, helping to ensure sulphur compliance at the engine fuel rail.
Although using fuel additives is not intended to remove the requirement for tank inspection and cleaning prior to change of use, it will significantly reduce cleaning time and associated costs. The technology is well proven. In 2015, the limit of 0.1% sulphur content was introduced in a number of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) around the world. The Octamar™ product range was used successfully by ships during this transition.
Octamar™ BT series contains an innovative proprietary component that acts as a dispersant and stabiliser. The dispersant stabiliser acts to simulate resins that surround asphaltenes. With the resins in place, asphaltenes remain stable and in suspension within the fuel.
However, when this additive attaches to precipitated asphaltenes (sludge), it has a polar function which brings the asphaltene back into the fuel. This makes it a very effective tank cleaner. What is more, using fuel additive technology like this is much easier than traditional manual cleaning methods and it works out far more cost-effective, saving time and money.
ULSFO – Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil – 0.1%S Products containing residual / VLSFO – Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil – 0.5%S / LSHFO – Low Sulphur Heavy Fuel Oil – 1.0%S – from 2010-15