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New ECA-compliant fuel oil has viscosity similar to HFO

Written by Nick Blenkey
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ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is available from the Port of Southampton (U.K.) via barge delivery

MARCH 13, 2015 — ExxonMobil is expanding its range of specialist fuels for use within Emission Control Areas (ECA) with the introduction of ExxonMobil Premium Advanced Fuel Marine ECA 200 (AFME 200), which has a viscosity comparable to heavy fuel oils. The new fuel joins ExxonMobil Premium HDME 50 as part of a new category of marine fuel that has emerged as a result of the 2015 ECA sulfur limit of 0.10 percent. These low sulfur fuels help engineers safely and efficiently operate their main and auxiliary engines and boilers.

ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is an advanced fuel oil formulated using a proprietary refining process that removes sulfur, metals and other contaminants. This enables the fuel to comply with the ECA sulfur cap and also helps to optimize the performance of engines and extend component life.

As the viscosity of the fuel is comparable to heavy fuel oils (HFOs) storage and handling practices for both fuels are similar. Both fuels require preheating, therefore reducing the risk of thermal shock to engine components during switchovers to comply with the ECA sulfur cap.

Thermal shock may result in fuel pump seizures and engine shutdowns and has the potential to occur when switching from heated HFO to marine gas oil (MGO) at ambient temperatures.

“Although MGO was readily available for operators to comply with the 2015 sulfur cap, new fuels made available in the market by leading oil and gas companies have raised the bar in terms of both safety and performance benefits,” said Rob Drysdale, global field engineering and logistics manager, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants. “ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 and other new ECA fuels have a higher viscosity and flashpoint than MGO, helping shipping companies to undertake their day-to-day operations in a safe and efficient way.”

Extensive fuel compatibility and stability tests were undertaken during the development of ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200, including the ISO 10307-2 sediment test. The results indicated that ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is fully compatible with ExxonMobil Premium HDME 50 and MGO. While ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is a unique product with advantages over traditional fuel oil, it does meet and exceed all the tests included in the ISO 8217:2012 RME 180 specification.

ExxonMobil Premium AFME 200 is available from the Port of Southampton (U.K.) via barge delivery. ExxonMobil now supplies ECA compliant fuel at more than 40 ports worldwide.

ExxonMobil says it will continue to expand its ECA-compliant fuels offer throughout 2015.

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