The 2011 edition of “New Standards for Marine Diesel Fuel” has been thoroughly reviewed and updated, and is republished by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, for reference and use by vessel owners and operators. The information and guidance provided in this 2017 edition is equally of use to vessel designers, builders and surveyors, to help prevent and avoid at source the risks that are associated with microbiological contamination, that may arise from use of modern Diesel fuels. It will also be of interest to students of naval architecture, marine engineering and vessel, machinery and systems design.
In 2010, the European Community issued a Directive that changed the specifications for fuels for non-roadgoing mobile machinery (NRMM), to encourage inclusion of bio-fuels (fatty acid methyl esters – FAME) in the blending of diesel fuels in an initiative to reduce environmental impact of engine operations. Unfortunately, the EU consultation process leading to the Directive had not considered the implications for the maritime sector, where such fuels were directed also to be used in non-seagoing vessels used for leisure or commercial purposes (i.e. those operating on ‘inland waterways’).
The storage of FAME or similar products in a fuel storage environment in which water may be present in condensate or dissolved form (such as in typical ship or boat fuel tanks) is known to encourage microbiological contamination and greatly increased risk of machinery failure due to systems blockage, with consequent impact upon vessel and public safety. Recognising this, the Government’s consultation process for the associated UK regulations, drew experience from members of the IMarEST Small Ships Group and colleagues from the maritime, fuels and logistics sectors, who supported the Department for Transport to create regulations that would comply with the Directive and its principles for environmental improvement yet, at the same time, provide for the best protection of ships and boats’ systems, and public safety.
In advance of implementation of the Regulations, the IMarEST published a marine fuels handbook, entitled “New Standards for Marine Diesel Fuel”, to advise vessel owners and operators, guide them on the regulations, help them obtain the best fuels for their vessel and safeguard against increased risks of microbiological contamination. The publication was popular and helpful, but the issues associated with FAME in diesel fuel have not gone away and, despite the development of best practice, many leisure and commercial operators find themselves caught with contaminated fuel and damage to their vessels’ systems.
Please download the booklet below: