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GL issues fuel switch engine failure warning

Classification society publishes guide on maintaining engine and boiler safety when using LSDO.



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Updated on 20 Nov 2009 13:22 GMT

Classification society Germanischer Lloyd (GL) has put together an in-depth guide on maintaining engine and boiler safety when using Low Sulphur Distillate Oils (LSDO) in order to help ship operators fulfil legal and operational requirements, and because its says switching to low sulphur fuel could also cause major engine or propulsion failure.

The guide provides details of the forthcoming new regulations in the territorial waters of the European Union and the coast of the U.S. State of California. Both legal entities have announced new limits on sulphur content of fuel oils that come into force in 2010 and 2012.

GL says it has issued the guide because a switch to low sulphur fuel oil before entering port or territorial waters could in fact 'cause major propulsion or engine failures'.

GL's guide on maintaining engine and boiler safety when using LSDO concentrates on fuel tank capacity and arrangements, service tank arrangements, the fuel oil supply system, main propulsion and auxiliary engines, main and auxiliary boilers, and boiler burner and burner control systems in particular.

The guidance points out that there is a potential need for Inspection/Approval/Certification before using LSDO.

"Since it is the sole responsibility of the operator to ensure that his vessel is suited for operation on the fuels required by e.g. the EU Directive 2005/33/EC, GL recommends to contact equipment manufacturer or associated system provider prior to the operation of any equipment with LSDO," GL said.

"It is safety critical whether the pumps, engines, boilers and burners are ready to handle and burn LSDO. In case the use of LSDO requires modifications of the equipment and systems, class approval and survey have to be conducted in order to ensure safe operation," GL added.

Please click on the link below to view the document entitled "New sulphur limits in marine fuel – guidance for maintaining engine and boiler safety and availability".

Link: Germanischer Lloyd engine and boiler safety document






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