A Vessel technically managed by a very large Ship Management company visited Houston and found that all fuel pumps had suffered damage. The lab had been testing fuels for several previous bunkerings and in none of the cases, the cat-fines in the fuel was high. The Ship Management company was intrigued and requested the lab to visit the ship, inspect the damage and take the samples and test it.
Lab staff visited the ship. What do you think they found?
Voice your views and guess what could have gone wrong?
We thank you for the below comments. Here we reveal the background of what actually happened.
The first thing the lab staff asked the ship staff was if the settling and service tanks were drained periodically. The ship staff vociferously claimed that these two tanks were drained every 8 hours. After this, the lab staff pressed the spring loaded drain valve on the settling tank and water came out for the next 20 minutes and also thick oil. The oil sample was drawn and it showed 1,200 ppm of catfines when tested in the lab.
The ship staff never drained the service and settling tanks for many days or even weeks and all the cat-fines and water settled at the bottom and their level increased to reach the outlet pipe level and the engine received water and cat-fines at very high levels with some fuel leading to the above reported serious damage.
- Settling and Service tank has to be drained regularly.
- A Senior officer/Engineer must cross check the same and ensure that all the shipboard staff are aware of the consequence.
- During a Ship Visit, A Technical Superintendent can check the same to ensure that the vessel follows the best engineering practice.
- It is recommended to occasionally draw representative samples from the tanks and get it tested at Viswa Lab.
- Please note: Viswa Lab has seen cases where the tank samples contained very high amounts of Cat-fines and water, of which one of the cases is reported above.
- It is recommended to carry out Purifier efficiency test, in order to ascertain that the purifier is performing to its highest efficiency.
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