VLSFOs – High Level of Bunker Alerts Relating to Sediment Issues


The introduction of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oils (VLSFOs) for compliance with IMO2020 has increased at a growing rate since October 2019. The chemistry and nature of these new fuels indicates likely problems with cold-flow properties, stability, contamination, cat-fines and sulphur content. One of the more concerning issues has been the recent upsurge in fuel instability leading to sediment formation from these fuels.

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS), issue Bunker Alerts to its clients, whenever fuel quality matters arise in a specific port, or region, over a short time period, in order to forewarn the company’s shipping clients of such issues and hopefully support them in, avoiding operational difficulties, improving health & safety matters, or ensuring legislative compliance.

Between 24th December 2019 and 21st January 2020, VPS has issued seven Bunker Alerts relating to sediment issues within VLSFO fuels. These Bunker alerts show that sediment problems within VLSFOs is not restricted to a single port, or region, over this recent four week period, as alerts have been issued in relation to fuel supplied in Singapore, Piraeus,
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Miami and San Vincente.

Steve Bee, Group Commercial & Business Development Director for VPS stated, “Ive never known such a concentrated frequency of bunker alerts to be issued in relation to a single fuel quality problem as we have seen with sediment problems in VLSFOs over the past four weeks.”

To assist the maritime industry in gaining further understanding of VLSFO fuel quality, management and use, VPS recently launched their fuel quality data subscription service, “VLSFO Insights”. This monthly report and data package provides subscribers with detailed information regarding VLSFO availability, quality, trends, operational concerns and general
fuel management being witnessed in relation to VLSFOs.

Sea News, January 28

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra