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  • 2015 March 19 11:30

    Wilh. Wilhelmsen group warns of potential problems with ECA-busting low sulphur fuels

    New 0.1% sulphur limits in emission control areas (ECA) have increased the use of distillate fuels, but without careful management and treatment, they can cause significant harm to engines according to WSS experts, the company said in its press release.

    Distillate fuels can cause blockages in fuel lines, in addition to damaging fuel pumps and injectors and in some cases contribute to the loss of engine power, according to Jonas Östlund, Product Marketing Manager Marine Chemicals, Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS).

    “If you are aware of the fuel’s basic properties and limitations, and are prepared to treat your distillates in order to manage and maximise their performance, they pose few challenges,” says Östlund.

    Released in 2014 in anticipation of regulatory changes concerning emissions, WSS’s new range of Fuel Oil Treatment products has been designed specifically for marine distillate, low sulphur fuels and has been positively received by customers.

    In a white paper published by Östlund, he argues that uncertainty regarding distillates can be easily overcome.

    “For many customers working within the constraints of the 0.1% ECA sulphur cap this added complexity is totally unwanted and unnecessary, and instead they are choosing to fall back on additional fuel treatments”.

    “However, using proven products, such as WSS’s DieselPower Lubricity will significantly improve the lubricity of low sulphur distillate fuel, reducing component wear”.

    Östlund explains in his White Paper that in addition to lubricity issues, the refinery process also eliminates distillates naturally occurring antioxidants, which can cause the fuel to deteriorate. In response, refineries treat distillate fuels with stabilisers to prevent deterioration and the formation of peroxides, the forerunners to soluble gums.

    Unfortunately, these stabilisers have a limited shelf life, typically of six months, after which deterioration can begin. If unchecked this tends to lead to the formation of deposits, especially on the fuel injectors, but such fuel deterioration can also be tackled with additives.
     
    Treatments such as WSS’s DieselPower Enhancer are multifunctional, maintaining both fuel stability and improving lubricity whilst ensuring that ongoing concerns regarding the differing lubricity and stability of low sulphur distillate fuels should disappear.

    Wilhelmsen Ships Service is part of Wilhelmsen Maritime Services, a Wilh. Wilhelmsen group company. It has the world’s largest maritime services network, with 4,500 marine professionals servicing 2,200 ports in 125 countries. Wilhelmsen Ships Service supplies safety products and services, Unitor products, Unitor and Nalfleet marine chemicals, maritime logistics and ships agency to the maritime industry. Last year the company made product deliveries to 25,000 vessels and handled 70,000 port calls.




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