Heavy Fuel in the Arctic Report - Phase III(b)

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Summary: The Phase III(b) report investigates the possible hazards to engines and fuel systems using HFO in cold climates by comparing the rate of engine or fuel system failures for ships that use HFO in the Arctic to the rate of similar failures for ships that rely upon other fuel types in similar Arctic conditions. HFO characteristics and operational challenges related to HFO use by ships are explained, and known risk factors related to HFO operation are discussed. Findings: The Phase III(b) report identifies three primary factors for engine failure or engine stop for ships that use HFO as fuel: i) risks related to disruption of fuel supply; ii) risks related to fuel quality, and; iii) risks related to fuel switchover. Moreover, the report highlights that the safe use of HFO as fuel requires careful attention by skilled personnel following established on-board procedures. Because ‘off-spec’ fuel is probably the most important risk factor for engine failure or loss of propulsion, effective on-board fuel management will therefore significantly reduce the risk of engine break-down, engine repair, or grounding.