Carriers are increasingly experiencing that bunker transferred to the ships is of such poor quality that extreme care is required when using the bunker to move the ships forward, says Lars Lundegaard, Senior Vice President & Head of Technical Department at Norden.
One particular problem comes in the form of so-called cat fines, or Catalytic Finds, a waste product from the final cracking process at the refineries. These consist of small aluminum and silica particles that are more or less found floating in the oil, at the size of a few microns. These particles are often so hard that they can form residue in the cylinder if they reach the engine, causing the pistol rings to be worn down rapidly, leading to significant higher engine maintenance costs. This can ultimately result in down time for the engine.