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Bunker fuel contaminations potentially can cause devastating damages to a ship’s engine and eventually lead to costly repairs. Ship engines breaking down and losing power at sea can be extremely dangerous, increasing the risk of collision or running aground.

On 14 March 2022, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has learned that a number of ships had been supplied with High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) containing high concentration levels of Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC). Tests revealed that one of the fuels in its blended product that was sourced from overseas contained about 15000 ppm of COC. Ships being supplied with the contaminated fuel reported having fuel pump or engine problems.

Bunker Fuel Testing

Standard ISO 8217 test methods are not sufficient to detect these contamination events. Additional test like the Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) test, which is the most widely used by testing laboratories, is highly recommended and necessary to detect chemical contaminants (ASTM D7845) in bunker fuel, including Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC).

List of chemical substances for GCMS

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