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SGS is excited to announce that it has recently invested in Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) equipment at its Fujairah laboratory to assist clients when looking at chemical waste contamination in fuels.

GC MS model

The Fujairah laboratory now has the capability to test marine fuels for a variety of chemical species which suggest contamination of the fuel with chemical waste components.

SGS Fujairah can analyze for numerous chemical species within the fuel oil in question by using the test method ASTM D7845, providing fast and reliable results within 48 hours of sample receipt.

These components, such as styrenes, phenol, glycol and their derivatives, have a direct effect on the vessels' machinery performance, as well as also being harmful to human health and the environment. Now, thanks to SGS Fujairah's increased fuel oil testing capabilities, both onshore purchasers and ship-owners can ensure that their fuel oil meets the requirements.

The Issue

In an ever-demanding market, and with COVID-19 implications in mind, there is a surplus of fuels in the market. Some of these less suitable fuel types and grades can make their way in to the bunker fuel supply chain, which can result in contaminants being present in the fuel.

Contaminated fuel oil has severe knock-on effects, ranging from long delays to significant adverse effects to a vessel's machinery performance. For example, it can lead to problems like excessive sludging and filter blocking, as well as seizing of fuel pumps.

Stringent rules and regulations have now been enforced in order to combat the increasing prevalence of contaminated fuels. For example, ISO 8217:2017 Specification of Marine Fuels stipulates that all marine fuels must undergo a rigorous series of mandatory tests before it's put to use aboard ships. This standard also discusses contamination by chemical species in "Clause 5" & "ANNEX B", showing the added benefit of ASTM D7845 analysis.

How SGS Helps Onshore Purchasers

By carrying out chemical species testing in conjunction with the full testing as laid out in the ISO 8217:2017 standard, sellers can confidently demonstrate the fuel's suitability for use within the marine industry. In the long term, this will help them build up trusted supply chains with their clients.

How This Helps Ship-Owners

This testing process helps ship-owners when evaluating preventive maintenance schedules, thereby reducing machinery downtime and repair times. It can also help prevent future de-bunkering of unsuitable fuels after further investigation from vessel performance issues, which all result in delays and costs.

A Global Network

The Fujairah site is just the latest addition to SGS's 12-strong global network of laboratories equipped with GCMS capabilities that allow for contaminant detection testing.

In addition to Fujairah, we currently also have laboratories located in China, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, France, Singapore, the USA, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Greece.

For more information, please contact:

Biju Menon
Business Manager, UAE
t: +971 4 883 2222