CIMAC WG07 | Guideline for the operation of Marine Engines on low Suphur diesel

This document has been prepared to advise the crew, users, vessel owners, charterers, crew, fuel and lubricant suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and classification societies about the fuel sulphur reduction options and implications, and especially the introduction of 0.10% m/m sulphur distillate in the ECA’s from 1 January 2015. There are also general sections to provide information on legislation, economic implications, refining and supply considerations and operating vessels on lower sulphur fuel.

IMO MARPOL Annex VI provides the legislative framework for fuel sulphur reductions and the associated timing. The relevant parts of this legislation are in the document and the implications of the changes are analysed.

Manufacturing, supply and fuel economic considerations are analysed and discussed. There is little doubt that the move from residual to distillate will increase costs considerably. An alternative is to install scrubbers or other aftertreatment devices to reduce the sulphur emission to a level which is in compliance with legislation. There is a large amount of information available on scrubber aftertreatment technology and as this is changing continuously it is not covered in detail in this document.

There are a number of operational issues which must be considered to ensure efficient and safe vessel operation on the low sulphur distillate and when changes and changeover of fuel are made. Vessel crews need to familiarise themselves with this information to ensure that smooth transitions between fuels are made. There are also a number of engine operational procedures which need to be followed in order to ensure that short and long term operation on distillate fuel does not lead to wear or malfunctioning of fuel system and engine components.

The impact of renewable liquid fuels is covered and some recommendations to facilitate operation on these fuels, if chosen, are given. As the scope of this document is limited to liquid fuels, there is no detailed information provided for operation on LNG or other gaseous fuels.

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