Marine Log

May 18, 2006

LR gives SECA entry advice

The first sulfur emission control area (SECA) becomes effective May 19, 2006.

Lloyd's Register's Classification News says that a number of practical issues relating to the development of plans for changing over from high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) to low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) have been identified.

These include the need to:

Ensure that adequate quantities of ready-to-use fuel oil for engines and boilers used for propulsion and generating plant remain continuously available during any change-over procedures from HSFO to LSFO.

Confirm with engine and equipment manufacturers that main and auxiliary engines and associated fuel treatment equipment are suitable for use of LSFO and implement any recommendations made by the manufacturers.

Implement a procedure onboard the ship to check the compatibility of the different fuels to be used for the change-over dilution process. This may be by using a compatibility spot test kit onboard or, preferably, by sending samples of the two fuels to an independent testing service, such as Lloyd's Register's fuel oil and bunker analysis service, FOBAS.

Calculate the time required for the dilution of HSFO by LSFO to achieve the required sulphur limit of 1.5% m/m. This is a function of:

HSFO and LSFO sulfur contents

fuel consumption rate

quantity of HSFO in the fuel system prior to dilution--this should take into account the HSFO remaining in the settling tank, service tank, mixing tank and the fuel rail as applicable.

Lloyd's Register has developed a LSFO change-over calculator, which provides an estimate of the time and cost required to dilute HSFO to meet the 1.5% m/m limit.

This is based on a complete linear blend of the two fuels during the dilution stage. This calculation is an estimate for guidance purposes only and that spot samples to check actual sulfur content at various stages of the dilution process are recommended to account for any operations not considered.

The LSFO change-over calculator is available online at:

Owners should seek approval from Lloyd's Register for any proposed changes to piping systems or fuel storage arrangements that are planned to accommodate the use of LSFO onboard a Lloyd's Register classed ship.

Reference to the procedures for LSFO change-over should be included in ships' ISM documentation (Chapter 7: Plans for Shipboard Operation). This should include guidance on whether it is appropriate to change over to LSFO with the engine room unmanned (if applicable).

Lloyd's Register can provide assistance by reviewing ship-specific LSFO change-over plans for compliance with best practice. LSFO plans should typically address the issues raised above and include arrangement drawings, together with a description of change-over procedures and the quantities of fuel available for operation of the propulsion and generating plant.