ExxonMobil responds to ECA fuel challenge

09 Jul 2014
ExxonMobil’s Premium HDME 50 fuel has been tested in conjunction with Wallenius Wilhelmsen

ExxonMobil’s Premium HDME 50 fuel has been tested in conjunction with Wallenius Wilhelmsen

ExxonMobil Marine Fuels & Lubricants has announced the introduction of a marine fuel designed to help marine operators comply with the 0.10% ECA sulphur limit set which will apply in ECAs from 1 Jan. 2015.

ExxonMobil Premium Heavy Distillate Marine ECA 50 (HDME 50) is a new category of marine fuel formulated, according to the company, not only to meet the upcoming ECA fuel sulphur limit but also help marine engineers continue to operate engines, boilers and other auxiliary equipment safely and efficiently under the sulphur cap.

HDME 50 is claimed to offer performance benefits associated with both marine gas oil (MGO) and heavy fuel oil (HFO). It contains the low sulphur content associated with MGO, while maintaining the higher flashpoint and lower volatility properties typically found in HFO. According to ExxonMobil, these characteristics will help reduce the risk of engine and boiler damage.

The higher viscosity of HDME 50 makes storage and handling the fuel on board similar to HFO. With the fuel having to be heated, the risk of thermal shock to engine components is reduced during switchovers when entering and leaving an ECA. The company says that thermal shock has been shown to result in fuel pumps seizures and engine shutdowns.

ExxonMobil has been working with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics on a test programme using Premium HDME 50. The fuel was proven to be suitable for use in main and auxiliary engines and marine type boilers. Following these field trials, the fuel has received ‘No Objection’ letters from MAN Diesel & Turbo for use in MAN B&W two-stroke and Holeby genset designs, provided the engine designer’s specific engine type guidelines are followed.

The company says that Premium HDME 50 is already available from Antwerp via barge delivery for vessels operating in the Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) region, and thus is now in use by a range of vessel operators. ExxonMobil continues to offer MGO at over 40 ports worldwide.

“We have developed and launched ExxonMobil Premium HDME 50, a new category of low sulphur fuel, to help marine operators meet the increasingly stringent ECA rules beginning in Jan. 2015,” said Aaron Cobb, director, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants. “ExxonMobil Premium HDME 50 complements our existing MGO offer and enables operators to choose a fuel that meets their specific requirements.”

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