• ITVI.USA
    15,493.230
    -192.560
    -1.2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.807
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.560
    -0.300
    -1.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,477.520
    -195.870
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,493.230
    -192.560
    -1.2%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.807
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.560
    -0.300
    -1.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,477.520
    -195.870
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American ShipperShipping

IUMI warns shipowners about damage caused by fuel impurities

International Union of Marine Insurers says there has been an increase in damage to engines from “cat fines,” with incidents costing anywhere from $300,000 to $1 million, adding that “the trend has now turned encouragingly downward.”

   This is one ship’s cat you don’t want on board
   The International Union of Marine Insurers (IUMI) has warned shipping companies about the potential harm that “cat fines” can cause to ship engines in a position paper published this month.
   “Cat fines are small particles of metal that are deliberately introduced to ‘crack’ fuel to improve the efficiency of refining,” IUMI explains. “Unless removed by purification, the cat fines become embedded in engine parts and cause serious and rapid engine damage.”
   “There is an increasing requirement for ships to use low sulfur fuels, and as these require more refining the level of cat fines will increase. Low sulfur fuels are less lubricating and this, combined with the introduction of increased amounts of abrasive materials, causes damage,” it said.
   According to IUMI, “The problem has mainly affected large two stroke engines, but cases involving four stroke engines have also been reported,” with the costs of claims ranging from $300,000 to $1.5 million, “especially if ship owners take the wrong actions after the problem is diagnosed.”
   It said a rise in claims was thought to be “largely due to a lack of awareness or good practice by crews in fuel handling at the same time as global environmental legislation to reduce the levels of sulfur in ships fuel made fuel changes more common.”
   However, IUMI reports “the trend has now turned encouragingly downward,” in part due to the increased use of gas oil in Emission Control Area, where shipowners must use low sulfur fuel, and possibly because of increased awareness by owners.
   It says engines need fuel with a concentration of cat fines at no more than 15ppm, but fuel is produced and sold at 60ppm and more. Fuel must be filtered, purified and managed to prevent damage.
   IUMI noted that 40 percent of hull claims are for damaged machinery and that they make up 30 percent of claims costs.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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