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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Marine fuel quality improving, says IBIA chairman

Test results are said to show that off-spec samples have declined to 8 percent in 2015.

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Updated on 10 Feb 2015 14:46 GMT

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) says that a "concerted campaign to get players from across the marine fuels supply chain to raise their game" has partly led to an improvement in fuel quality.

Addressing an audience of over 1000 marine fuel buyers, suppliers and traders at the association's annual dinner in London last night (February 9), IBIA chairman Jens Maul Jorgensen [pictured] said that the early results for 2015 show that there has been a "marked improvement in bunker fuel quality" with 8 percent of samples found to be off spec compared with 10 percent in 2014. These results are based on samples taken by testing company Intertek ShipCare.

"Test figures for standard submitted samples during 2014 show around 10 percent of all samples were deemed to be off specification based on a single test result with respect to the fuel grade purchased," said Jorgensen.

"Test figures for 2014 also showed a significant change in purchasing patterns of the types of products, with a steady increase in the number of distillate fuels being tested. The number of distillate samples being submitted for testing rose by 15 percent in 2014 compared to the figures for 2013," he added.

The IBIA chairman noted that the drop in oil price has meant that there is now less incentive for refiners to blend down their products and that there has been an increase in suppliers using the ISO2010 & 2012 specs.

In October 2014, the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 67th Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting agreed to establish a correspondence group to develop a draft guidance for assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered for use on board ships, and to consider the adequacy of the current legal framework in MARPOL Annex VI for assuring the quality of bunkers. Off-spec tested samples reached an all time high in 2013, with one quarter found to be below the required standards.

Jens Maul Jorgensen also congratulated the marine industry's response to the collapse of OW Bunker in October, enabling many of the company's former employees to quickly find new positions.

"Thanks to the industry support the majority of OW Bunker staff found new employment: it shows that we are one big family."

Held during IP Week, the IBIA dinner 2015 was a sell-out, attracting 1069 participants. The event also saw the awarding of Honorary Membership to one of IBIA's founding members and the association's first chairman, Doug Barrow.

Earlier in the day, IBIA held its annual general meeting (AGM) at which the elections of Patrick Holloway (Weber Wentzel), Nigel Draffin (LQM) and John Sterling (World Fuel Services) to the association's board were announced. They replace Simon Neo, Ciric Cheung and Trevor Harrison.

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IBIA chairman has term of office extended by a year
IBIA offers support in wake of OW Bunker collapse
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