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Wednesday, June 20, 2018


High cat fines fuels in Rio Grande, Brazil

Within the last two days five heavy fuel oil samples from bunkerings in the Rio Grande area with combined Aluminium and Silicon levels significantly exceeding the limit set in ISO 8217;96 of 80 mg/kg. The Al+Si content for these fuels was in the range of 142 - 169 mg/kg Al+Si.

Although all of these fuels were ordered as RM35 grade (IFO 380) the actual viscosities were significantly lower than the grade ordered.  Viscosities ranged from 72 to 112 mm2/s at 50C with an average viscosity of 85 mm2/s, with correspondingly CCAI values in the 865 to 867 range.  Therefore we recommend extreme caution if the viscosity of the delivered fuel is significantly lower than the grade ordered.  Also, the high CCAI may in itself cause problems for certain engines.

Vessels receiving such fuels may experience abrasive wear of fuel handling equipment and engine components.  If your vessel recently bunkered in this port, please ensure that the fuel quality is known before using it.  At these high levels of cat fines, even optimum centrifuge performance may not remove sufficient abrasives for proper engine operation. To determine the efficiency of the centrifuges we recommend analysis of samples taken before and after the centrifuge.  This may be important to help you avoid serious damage to shipboard machinery.

Source: DNV Petroleum Services