Maritec: Low Flashpoint Bunkers in Singapore and Indonesia

by Admin
maritec pte alert low flashpoint bunkers

Maritec Pte Ltd, a prominent maritime testing and inspection company, has raised concerns regarding the flashpoints of certain marine fuels being supplied in Singapore and Indonesia. Recent tests have revealed alarmingly low flashpoints in these bunker fuels, prompting safety warnings and regulatory reminders for the maritime industry.

In Singapore, Maritec Pte Ltd conducted tests on three different samples of Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) deliveries, revealing flashpoints as low as 54°C. These samples originated from various suppliers and barges, underlining the potential widespread issue of low flashpoint bunkers in the region.

In Indonesia, a more significant concern emerged, as Maritec Pte Ltd analyzed eleven samples of High Sulfur Diesel (HSD) and Bunker Fuel Type IFO 380 (B35) deliveries from September 5, 2023, to October 19, 2023. The flashpoints in these samples were as low as 41°C, with most originating from a single supplier. Such a critical deviation from international safety standards poses a significant risk to vessels operating in the Indonesian waters.

The international maritime community adheres to strict safety regulations outlined in SOLAS Chapter II-2, Part B, Reg. 4, Clause 2.1.1. According to this regulation, no oil fuel with a flashpoint of less than 60°C should be used, emphasizing the importance of flashpoint considerations for maritime safety.

In response to these findings, CTI-Maritec recommends the following precautions for vessels bunkering with low flashpoint fuels:

  1. Maintain Flame Screens: Ensure that flame screens on tank vents are in good condition and that there are no potential sources of ignition near the vents. This will aid in the safe natural ventilation of volatile fuel components.
  2. No Smoking, Naked Flames, or Hot Work: Strictly prohibit smoking, open flames, and hot work in areas near tank air vents to mitigate the risk of ignition.
  3. Fuel Sampling: Conduct additional fuel samples upon arrival in port to assess the fuel properties and flashpoint results, particularly if there has been any blending or co-mingling of fuels in the bunker tanks.
  4. Flag State Dispensation: For vessels at sea, consider seeking dispensation from your Flag State Administration until the next port of arrival, acknowledging the safety concerns related to low flashpoint fuels.
  5. Notify Authorities and P&I Clubs: Promptly inform the fuel supplier and notify your Protection and Indemnity (P&I) club to address potential liability issues and safety concerns.

Maritec Pte Ltd has emphasized that the interpretation of ISO 4259 flashpoint temperature should not take precedence over the paramount concern for the safety of onboard crew and vessels.

The advisory further advises vessels intending to bunker in Singapore to request a Certificate of Quality prior to loading, ensuring a more transparent understanding of the fuel’s characteristics.

Maritec Pte Ltd stands ready to provide further information and assistance to the maritime community regarding the quality of bunkers tested in different regions. For inquiries and support, interested parties are encouraged to contact Maritec Pte Ltd.

In light of these findings, the maritime industry is urged to exercise utmost caution and prioritize safety when dealing with low flashpoint fuels to prevent accidents and environmental disasters.

Source Maritec Pte Ltd.