Contaminated marine fuels that clog and damage ship engines have been found in Singapore, the world’s largest ship refuelling hub. This is according to sources and an alert sent to clients by Maritec, a marine fuel surveying company.
Maritec warned that six samples of ship fuel sold had “resulted in severe sludging at centrifuges, clogged pipelines, overwhelmed fuel filters”. It said the problem fuel certainly met the ISO8217:2005 specifications in all respects. However it contained chemicals not from petroleum refining.
The Singapore findings follow reports of more than 100 vessels that loaded similarly contaminated fuel in other countries. These include the U.S. Gulf Coast, Panama and the Dutch Antilles, said the alert notice, provided to Reuters by a Singapore-based bunker fuels trader.
Now the problem fuel has made its way to Asia. Maritec said all ASEAN countries and even Hong Kong import fuels from Singapore. Therefore, the whole region is affected.
A source said the Singapore samples seems to point to both “Estonian type oil shale” and “U.S. type fracked shale oil”.
Some U.S. fuel oil products have been coming into Singapore recently, and more should be arriving in August, said a Singapore-based bunker fuel trader.
The shipments had “high levels of styrene and phenols along with other plastic related compounds,” he said.
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority said it could not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Economic decline, along with a restrictive lockdown, left the freight sector in a vulnerable situation.