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Over the past month, Lloyd’s Register’s FOBAS has tested low sulphur (0.10% sulphur) fuels and 0.50% very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) at UAE ports which have been beyond the required limits for sulphur content and outside the 95% confidence range.

According to FOBAS, fuels bunkering as 0.10% sulphur have been shown to have results ranging from 0.12 to 0.13% m/m, while VLSFOs have returned results above 0.53% m/m (which is the 95% confidence limit).

The fuel testing agency notes that fuels that fail to meet the 0.50% m/m global sulphur limit (and specifically above the 0.53% m/m 95% confidence range) may only be used on ships with an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System in use.

According to FOBAS, this recent batch of off-spec samples ‘is most likely a random occurrence as no one particular supplier or port are involved.’ However, it notes that for any bunkering taking place at any port there should always be an assumption that an off-spec sulphur result is possible as most suppliers blend as close to the limit as possible, and so it is important to ensure bunker samples are taken correctly and correctly labelled, the MARPOL sample is clearly stated on the BDN and kept safe onboard along with the BDN in case of inspection and also from this year, that designated sampling points are in place in case of inspection and samples requested to be taken.

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