The marine sector should look beyond just the initial choice of compliance solution ahead of the impending 0.5% global sulphur cap, according to Finland-based provider of fuel supply systems Auramarine.

The company added that the industry needs to fully understand the operational impact of using and switching to new low sulphur fuels and distillate products.

Without this understanding or by not using best-in-class fuel supply systems, ship owners and operators risk engine damage and potentially catastrophic failure, as well as unexpected costs and unplanned downtime, the supplier explained.

Ahead the 2020 sulphur regulation, Auramarine has launched a ‘Get ready for 2020’ initiative, issuing a call to action for owners and operators to drive and encourage them to implement strategic forward planning to protect the future of their vessels and operations. Now more than ever it is crucial for shipowners to work with knowledgeable experts, allowing them to foster an understanding of how best to mitigate risks and minimise disruption, downtime, and unexpected costs and delays.

Many of the main and auxiliary engines of vessels currently in operation may originally have been designed to run on fuels that differ from the new low sulphur products that are compliant with the pending regulations. The company said that maintaining the correct fuel viscosity and temperature at the engine inlet is crucial regardless of the fuel in use, and the fuel supply system needs to be able to deliver the fuel at the engine inlet as specified by the engine maker in order to guarantee efficient combustion.

When switching fuels, issues arise when different fuels are present in the same pipes and tank, thereby causing issues with compatibility. This typically results in sludging and blockages in bunker and service tanks, pipe runs, filters, separator internals, and fuel injection equipment.

“Assessing new technologies or practices is only the first step on the journey towards safe, efficient and compliant operations in a post-2020 environment. Ship owners also need to consider the potential impact that these significant operational changes will have on engines and therefore vessel performance. It is crucial that ship owners thoroughly evaluate the exact needs of their vessels at the outset of assessing which compliance solution they will employ, and set in place an efficient and effective fuel supply system that will not only protect the operational integrity of the vessel but also their profitability,” Ole Skatka Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, Auramarine, said.

“Whichever compliance solution is employed, effective and comprehensive management of fuel supply and fuel switching, combined with proactive condition monitoring, can ultimately become the difference between a safe, complaint and efficient vessel, and unintended downtime, lost profitability and potentially catastrophic engine damage.”

Through it ‘Get ready for 2020’ service offering, Auramarine would provide expert consultancy, comprehensive guidance and ongoing in-service support for the safe and efficient supply of fuel.

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