Marine solutions provider Wilhelmsen Ships Service has entered into an agreement with Hitachi High-Tech to offer the Japanese company’s handheld XRF sulphur content analysers to the maritime market.

The technology enables vessel crews to test the sulphur content of their fuel, on the spot.

“Crews will be able to eliminate the risk of accidental non-compliance. As vessels approach emission control areas (ECAs), with a lower 0.1%, permissible sulphur content limit, the engine room can immediately and accurately test the sulphur content of the fuel flowing to the engines after changeover and ensure it is compliant,” Jonas Östlund, product marketing manager, Oil and Water, Marine Products Wilhelmsen Ships Service, commented.

In addition to mitigating the risks of non-compliance during changeovers, the on-board testing equipment lessens the reliance on the traditional bunker delivery note, allowing crews to check the sulphur content of fuel during bunkering, rather than potentially having to deal with potential fuel specification issues after the fact, the company noted.

Wilhelmsen will be offering the X-MET8000 handheld XRF analyser from Hitachi High-Tech which complies with ASTM D4294, ISO8754, and IP336 sulphur test methods.

With the International Maritime Organisation’s 0.5% global sulphur cap on marine fuels set to come into force on January 1, 2020, and discussions on enforcement strategies and potential penalties for non-compliance gathering pace, the ability to perform the tests will soon become an operational necessity for crews, and authorities, alike, Wilhelmsen said.

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