Sulphur content testing to start in UK ports
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has acted to implement sulphur content testing of bunkers in ships in UK ports. It has awarded hazardous material and risk management specialist Lucion Marine, part of the Lucion Services Group, the contract to provide fuel oil sampling and testing services at ports across the UK.
The contract runs until 2020 and involves the provision of a sampling and analysis service to test that fuel being used by vessels in UK waters does not exceed the maximum allowed sulphur content of 0.1%, as stipulated in the International Convention for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
Lucion says that its specialist marine team will test upwards of 240 vessels each year at 13 major UK ports including Aberdeen, Belfast, Port of London and Port of Tyne, to make sure that the MARPOL regulations, promoted by the IMO (International Marine Organisation) are strictly adhered to.
Under the terms of the contract, Lucion will arrange for a sulphur inspector to visit vessels and liaise with the ship master to acquire spot samples of the fuel. These samples will be sent to a specialist laboratory for testing in accordance with ISO and BS EN methods and the verification of sulphur content will be sent to the MCA in a full report, in accordance with Appendix VI of MARPOL. The full process from taking the sample to providing an analysis report is reported to take three days.