Maersk Fluid Technology welcomes growing demand for blending-on-board system

Firm says influx of orders confirms operator demand to blend cylinder lubricant compositions that match actual engine operating conditions and fuel sulphur levels.

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Updated on 17 May 2017 10:37 GMT

Maersk Fluid Technology (MFT) has hailed a recent influx of orders for its SEA-Mate blending-on-board (BOB) system as confirmation of industry demand for technological solutions that enable ship operators to blend fit-for-purpose cylinder lubricant compositions on board their vessels that match actual engine operating conditions and fuel sulphur levels.

The technology is designed to reduce cylinder oil consumption and alleviate issues such as cold corrosion and excessive cylinder wear. Additionally, the SEA-Mate is said to mitigate issues associated with worn system oil causing problems for the hydraulic control system in modern, electronic two-stroke engines.

Developed based on proprietary technology, the BOB technology allows for the blending of the in-use system oil with a higher BN cylinder oil product to produce a fit-for-purpose cylinder lubricant and facilitate addition of fresh system oil to the engine sump.

With BOB units on board, 30 - 140 BN cylinder oil can be blended utilising the in-use system oil as a base-oil, blending it with high-BN or traditional cylinder oils available from the oil majors.

The SEA-Mate BOB system has received 'no objection' letters from MAN Diesel & Turbo (MDT) and Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) engines and is designed for use on all types of vessel, both retrofit and newbuild.

More than 200 installations in operation

Originally developed by Maersk for use on A.P Moller-Maersk group's fleet of containerships, MFT has since welcomed investment in the technology for installations across a wide range of ship types. To date, more than two hundred units have been installed and millions of cylinder operation hours have been logged.

The MFT Blending-on-Board product line comprises three unit types: the B1000 for medium range engines with a bore size of 50 - 72 cm; the B3000 for larger engines with a bore size above 72 cm; and the new SEA-Mate B500, specifically designed for engines with a bore size of 26 - 48 cm.

The medium-range unit was introduced in 2015 and the first volume order was placed by Maersk Tankers for the retrofit of the SEA-Mate B1000 system for twelve tankers. In 2016, the units were installed on the tankers without the need to interrupt the vessels' schedule.

Since its introduction, the SEA-Mate B1000 system has also been adopted for vessels owned by Bertling, Masterbulk and Evergas. For the smaller B500 system, Clipper Group has in 2017 taken delivery of the first unit to be fitted on a vessel equipped with an MAN Diesel S42MC engine.

"Our experiences with the current 200+ installations have proved that it will be possible to achieve continuous lubrication at, or close to, the lowest allowed consumption of lubricant as specified by the engine manufacturer, with the optimal amount of acid neutralisation and cleaning properties - the cylinder lubricant from the SEA-Mate BOB system always matching the fuel composition.

"The flexibility of the system allows blending of a cylinder oil with system oil or blending of two cylinder oils, and means it can easily be adapted for future needs through change of the incoming streams," remarked Sune Lilbaek, Head of Sales at Maersk Fluid Technology A/S.

Online library for Blending-on-Board ready lubricants

In February 2017, MFT updated its online library of high-BN cylinder oil product sheets to include the latest generation of 140 BN and 300 BN cylinder oils suitable for BOB, for blending with system oil or low-BN cylinder oils. The library includes high-BN cylinder oils from BP, Castrol, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Premier 6, Shell and Total Lubmarine, and is continuously updated as new oils are released by the oil majors.

The list of supporting oil major products can be found at