Currently, standard industry practice requires that bunker oil being supplied to Marine vessels must fulfil ISO 8217 requirements. However, ISO 8217 has another criteria which states that it should not contain chemical waste, waste lubricants or any other contaminants which would impair the efficiency of the purification or engine system on vessel, such criterias are difficult to monitor and enforced.
At the present moment, the presence of other types of possible contaminants, especially organic contaminants, are not monitored at all. It has surfaced recently that certain bunker tankers’ operators sold contaminated bunker fuel that had been mixed with waste oil to ship operators. These contaminated bunker oil, however, was still within the ISO 8217 general requirements. Such contaminated bunker oil caused great harm to the vessel’s engine, and clogging of filter as well as high pressure in fuel pumps had been reported. Our laboratory is equipped with GCMS which is able to analyse samples from bunker oil and as well as bunker fuel blendstock from different sources. The presence of any contaminants in the samples would be indicative of an adulteration (whether accidental or intentional) of the bunker oil supply according to ISO 8217 clause 5.