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FOBAS's alert for off-spec sediment fuels from Singapore has muted impact

Singapore — An alert Wednesday from the Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service, under Lloyd's Register, about specification issues with some residual bunker fuel samples it had tested from Singapore has had a limited impact on the country's market, industry sources said Friday.

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Bunker quality issues are monitored closely in the city-port as they could impact market fundamentals in the world's largest bunkering port.

According to some sources, the off-spec issue was not that significant and has subsided for now.

"We did see an alert by FOBAS though this is likely to be just a one-off case" a bunker trader said.

"We have not had any impact. So, I would not worry about it," another bunker trader said.

That came after FOBAS said it had tested a number of samples from Singapore, which were ordered as ISO-F-RMG380 grade.

"Total sediment potential results were unobtainable, with samples failing to filter within the 25 minutes given for the test method," it said.

"This is evidential of sediment being above the limit as specified in ISO 8217 for an RMG380," FOBAS said.

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Fuels with high sediments can result in excessive sludge deposition in tanks and throughout the handling and treatment/fuel injection systems.

The attempted use of such fuels can result in highly compromised combustion leading to engine and turbocharger damage, FOBAS said.

"We recommend that suppliers are advised of your concerns regarding the stability of the fuel in the area, and that they provide you with additional reassurance that they will adhere to the ISO 8217 requirements for the grade ordered," FOBAS said.

Attention should also be given to the collection of bunker samples by ensuring that all parties have witnessed the sampling process and have signed witness forms accordingly, and that the supporting documentation includes records of all the samples considered representative of the fuel as loaded, it said.

--Surabhi Sahu, surabhi.sahu@spglobal.com

--Jeslyn Lerh, jeslyn.lerh@spglobal.com

--Edited by Daniel Lalor, newsdesk@spglobal.com