ClassNK releases booklet for crew handling low-sulphur fuels

Exhaust scrubber for ClassNK scrubber guidelines. Cedit: ClassNK

Japanese classification society ClassNK has issued a booklet for crew members detailing precautions that should be taken in the switch to sulphur oxide (SOx) cap compliant fuel oils.

The guidelines outline the potential risks for seafarers who are responsible for operations in the switch over to low-sulphur fuels that will take place from 1 January 2020. In particular, ClassNK’s booklet will provide crew members who are responsible for bunkering and handling compliant fuel with information on the compatibility and cold flow properties of such fuels.

Attached to the booklet as references are relevant recommendations and product leaflets provided by several chemical manufacturers pertaining to sludge dispersants and sludge solubilisers.

“We’re aware that the SOx regulation is the biggest challenge shipping companies are currently facing,” said T Shimada, general manager of the ClassNK machinery department. “This booklet, which outlines essential precautions for [a] ship’s crew members responsible for operations in the change-over to compliant fuel oils, was compiled based on our expertise and I’m confident that it will come in handy for crew members.”

The majority of shipowners and operators are expected to switch to bunkering low-sulphur fuel oils once the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) SOx regulation comes into force in January 2020. However, some firms are also looking to scrubbers and liquefied natural gas engine retrofits to help them comply.

The booklet can be viewed on the ClassNK website under “Products & Services” > “Statutory Services” > “SOx・PM regulations” along with other SOx regulation initiatives by the classification society.