INTERTANKO's Bunker sub-Committee meets in London

Extensive contributions will now be made to the IMO’s Design and Equipment sub-Committee (DE) on the issue of bunker tank protection, following an in-depth session on this issue at this week’s INTERTANKO Bunker sub-Committee meeting held in London.

Chaired by Hamish Cubitt, the sub-Committee discussed the questions being raised on this issue by the IMO’s Design and Equipment sub-Committee on the maximum size for bunker tanks. This was especially relevant in terms of recent air emission requirements and the potential to carry several types of bunker fuel. Guidance was also given on the issue of bunker tank protection by way of minimum limits for side and bottom protection, and in using the probabilistic outflow method, the possibility of further segregation of bunker tanks.

On the latter issue the sub-Committee discussed further the sulphur in fuel directive, noting the latest moves on this issue by the European Commission and the need to take action once again on this matter in Brussels, particularly in view of the entry into force of MARPOL Annex VI in May 2005.

The sub-Committee heard of the continued work by the CIMAC (International Council on Combustion Engines) working group on heavy fuel oils and in particular the potential problems with the lubricity of low-sulphur fuels. However, some mention was also made of the potential use of additives to overcome the shortcomings anticipated with the use of low sulphur fuels.

A report was also given to the sub-Committee on a recent meeting between INTERTANKO and the International Bunker Industry Association Ltd. (IBIA). This useful meeting covered many of the issues on the sub-Committee’s agenda including low sulphur fuel availability and point of sampling. The sub-Committee subsequently agreed to promote further liaison between these two bodies and set a timetable for regular meetings.

Contact: Tim Wilkins