December 4, 2002

Good results with EMFF heavy fuel
EXXONMOBIL Marine Fuels (EMMF) has been "greatly encouraged" by customer response to the quality of its 500 cSt fuel. EMMF recently started supplying this heavier fuel at the port of Singapore, in response to customer demand. Comparison trials involving the fuel have recently been carried out on board some of Neptune Orient Line's (NOL) large containerships.

Writing in the latest issue the EMMF newsletter, Steve Walker, Global Technical Manager of EMMF, says the NOL trials proved that higher viscosity fuels do not automatically contain more harmful elements than lighter ones.

NOL's ship engineers measured main and auxiliary engine performance on both EMMF's 500 cSt fuel and higher-grade fuels (400 cSt-plus) from some of its competitors. They also carried out comparison tests between EMMF's 500 cSt Singapore fuel and a competitor's 380 cSt Singapore fuel.

The ships' engine parameters and engine room plant variables were all measured. It was found that there was little or no difference in engine performance. All fuel filters in the treatment system performed as well as they did with the 380 cSt fuel. The additional heating required to use the 500 cSt fuel was confirmed as marginal. Given the lower initial cost of the 500 cSt product and the limited in-port time of the vessels, considerable savings were made.

"The real icing on the cake," according to Walker, "was provided by the lab comparisons on the ignition properties of the four fuels used by NOL - EMMF's 500 cSt product, two from a European competitor at 455 cSt and 500 cSt, and a Singapore competitor's fuel ordered at 380 cSt but supplied at 225 cSt. Only the EMMF fuel produced a satisfactory combustion performance during analysis tests." 

Walker concludes, "As always, quality and safety are the prime considerations with all fuel supplied by EMMF. We are encouraged to see that there are now sufficient numbers of our customers who have the necessary equipment and expertise to enable them to use this heavier grade of fuel oil."

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