Contamination in marine fuel that clogs and damages ship engines has been found in Singapore, with marine fuel surveyor and consulting firm Maritec Pte sending an alert to clients to warn them about the situation.
Namely, six samples of ship fuel in Singapore had caused severe sludging at centrifuges, clogged pipelines, and overwhelmed fuel filters. The first problem sample in Asia was found on April 13 in Port Kelang in Malaysia, which led to a dead ship that had to be towed back to port with all fuel pumps damaged.
These findings come after reports of more than 100 vessels that loaded contaminated fuel in the US Gulf Coast, Panama and the Dutch Antilles earlier this year, Reuters reported, with the issue now moving to Asia.
The contaminated fuel in Singapore seems to be Estonian type oil shale and US type fracked shale oil. This contaminated fuel can damage ship engines, and many of the vessels with this fuel needed extensive flushing and repair before being starting operation again.
This type of contaminated fuel is hard to detect because it passes industry standards but contains compounds that are not usually tested. In fact, the shipments presented high levels of styrene and phenols, as well as plastic related compounds.