New oil leakage calculation tool

21 Apr 2016

Thordon Bearings has developed a new tool capable of calculating the amount of operational oil prevented from leaking into the ocean with the installation of a seawater-lubricated propeller shaft bearing.

The Oil Savings Calculator will be officially launched on 22 April 2016, it shows that more than 60m litres of oil pollution has been saved to date.

Terry McGowan, president and CEO of Thordon Bearings, said: “In our opinion the only acceptable propeller shaft stern tube oil leakage is zero.”

He continued: “The Oil Savings Calculator is updated constantly and will continue to track our contribution to removing stern tube oil from our waters with the greater goal of completely eliminating this source of pollution.”

The calculation is based on detailed statistical analysis of the number of vessels that have been built with or converted to seawater lubrication, the 300 days a vessel is typically operational and an average oil leak of six litres per day per vessel.

Last year, the International Tanker Pollution Federation (ITOPF) presented Thordon Bearings with an environmental award for its oil-free COMPAC propeller shaft bearing system for its part in reducing the amount of oil entering the sea manually.

Supporting the new calculation tool, Dr Karen Purnell, ITOPF’s managing director, said: “We support measures designed to help our members and associates meet high environmental standards.”

“Though our primary function is to promote effective response to marine spills of oil and chemicals worldwide, we also support the maritime industry in its efforts to reduce ship-sourced pollution and provide for more sustainable marine operations,” she added.

Researched carried out by Environmental Research Consulting in 2014 revealed that the total amount of operational oil discharges from ocean-going vessels could be more than 240m litres a year.

Craig Carter, Thordon Bearings’ head of marketing and customer service, said the industry is in the midst of a technology transition that will eventually confine oil-lubricated shaft bearing systems to history.

He explained: “Recent changes to US Vessel General Permit requirements and the introduction of new Environmental Protection Agency rules have resulted in an unprecedented number of commercial vessels opting for sea-water lubricated bearing technologies.”

“Ship owners are now much more aware of the positive contribution they can make in safeguarding the marine environment.”

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