BUNKERING Q: If your vessel was on a time charter for 6 months, which party would be responsible for purchasing bunker fuel ? A: The time Charterer.



Q: If your vessel was on a time charter for 6 months, which party would be responsible for purchasing bunker fuel ?

A: The time Charterer.

Q: What precautions would you take where the time charterer is buying bunkers?

A: I would check that he was ordering fuel of the correct specification. The specification should have been agreed between the owners and charterers and should be listed in the C/P.

Q: What precautions would you take when ordering bunkers to protect the owners’ interests as far as bunker quality was concerned?

A: In consultation with Chief Engineer, I would check the engine operation manuals, and if on time charter, the bunker clause. I would order the bunkers specifying an approval fuel standard, e.g. ‘BSMA 100’ rather then specifying only a type and viscosity, e.g. ‘IFO 180’ I would have the C/E check that bunkers presented for loading mach the ship’s requirements and specification ordered. I would have the C/E make accurate tank sounding before commencing bunkering in order to verify the amount delivered. I would have the C/E make a compatibility test to confirm that bunker presented are compatible with fuel already on board and see that bunker are loaded into empty tanks if possible, and kept separate from the other bunkers until any analysis had been completed. I would also see that the vessel is, so far as possible, maintained upright and on even keel throughout the bunkering operation, and that samples of oil loaded were taken at regular intervals at the manifold.

Q: What other precautions would you take when bunkering?

A: I would that local and international regulations are complied with throughout the operation; that scupper are fitted before commencing bunkering; that drain plug in manifold and fuel tank air pipe containment save-alls are in place before commencing bunkering; that the communication are established with the supply control position and signal to be used are understood by both side; that a maximum pumping rate and pressure are agreed with the supplier; that the condition of hoses and couplings is checked before (and after) bunker; that blanks and number of required nuts and bolts, etc. are checked before bunkering; that the required hose lengths ( allowing for ranging of vessel ) are checked before bunkering; that valves are in the required positions before bunkering and that tank vent pipe are free from obstruction; that barge or shore tank soundings and/or meter reading are checked before (and after) bunkering to help avert any problems concerning quantity; that frequent soundings are taken during the bunkering operation; that the rate of delivery is slowed down while topping off; that ample warning is given to the supplier to reduce the delivery rate and final shutting off; that accurate sounding of tanks are taken after bunkering and compared with pre-loading soundings to determine the quantity delivered; and that the Oil Record Book, and deck and engine room log book are completed immediately bunkering with accurate details of the operation.

Q: What are the possible consequences of not having proper procedures for bunkering operation?

A: 1. Harbour pollution

  • a fine on the owners/operators
  • a fine on me as master
  • detention of my ship
  • an adverse effect on owner’s deductibles and standing with their P & I club.
  • loss of ISM certification.

Q: What action would you take if a spillage occurred during bunkering?

A: I would take immediate steps to:

  • Stop the bunkering operation
  • minimize the spread of the oil in the harbour, taking all possible action to contain the spillage until shore assistance arrives, but without using any dispersants for which approval had not previously been obtain
  • stop any hot work on board or nearby vessels and quays
  • contact harbour authorities (on VHF if possible); ship’s agent; P & I club correspondent; owners/managers;
  • make statutory report to MAIB and coastal state administration
  • obtain samples of the oil from which the spillage came
  • establish the facts and (before investigators arrive, if possible) write a full report of the occurrence, stating all efforts taken by the ships crew to deal with the spillage
  • attempt to establish the quantity of oil spilled. Together with my officers and crew I would work closely with the local authorities in the clean-up operation.

Q: What arrangements would you expect the Chief Engineer to make for taking bunker sample?

A: I would expect the C/E to take at least two samples during the bunkering. If the vessel carries onboard fuel test kit, the C/E should carryout a sport analysis and , if this indicate the fuel is unsuitable, a full analysis should be carried out at an approved shore laboratory before the bunker are used. In any event, one sample should be retained on board until all bunkers loaded have been burn without problem, while other should forwarded to an independent fuel analysis service. Sample of oil loaded during bunkering should be sealed, dated and signed by the Chief Engineer and supplier.

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