Tuesday, February 25, 2014

IBIA Calls for Greater ISO 2010 Specs Adoption

By Mark Edward Nero

In a bid to improve bunker quality across the marine fuel supply chain, the International Bunker Industry Association has begun calling on marine fuel suppliers to adopt the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 2010 specifications for bunkers.

Despite being introduced four years ago to improve bunker standards, it is estimated that only 25 percent of bunker suppliers currently supply in accordance with the 2010 specifications, according to the IBIA.

While addressing 1,127 attendees from the shipping community at the annual IBIA dinner at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Feb. 17, IBIA Vice Chair Jens Maul Jorgensen said that state-of-the-art ‘eco-vessels’ are now entering the market equipped with engines that are more sensitive than ever before.

“The ISO specs were agreed upon four years ago because there was a real need for them. Yet only 25 percent of suppliers are supplying in accordance with these specs,” he said. “Something is wrong.”

The IBIA says it is working to address the problem and has submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization calling for clarity and transparency in the marine fuel supply chain.

The paper recommends, among other things, a process of data collection from bunker suppliers; a process for authorities and inspectors to report non-compliance with Annex VI; regulations to minimize the risk of non-compliant fuels arising from fuel blending activity; enforcement procedures to ensure that ship operators can have a greater degree of confidence in their suppliers; and the collection of data from fuel suppliers, fuel testing companies and shipping companies to identify the root cause of fuel quality problems.

IBIA Chief Executive Peter Hall said that the IBIA would be engaging with ship owners directly at a series of forums around the world held in conjunction with other shipping organizations and associations. The forums will be disseminating practical advice about fuel quality standards and avoiding problems. The first of these forums takes place March 10 at the International Parcel Tanker Association/Navigate Chemical & Product Tanker conference in London.