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  #1  
Old 03-31-2009, 07:30 AM
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Emission change for vessels at sea

Rule would require clean fuel near shore
Change for ships could equal taking millions of cars off road
By MATTHEW TRESAUGUE Houston Chronicle Copyright 2009
March 30, 2009, 9:00PM

Under an Environmental Protection Agency proposal, oceangoing vessels sailing within 230 miles of U.S. coasts would have to use cleaner fuel with no more than 1,000 parts per million sulfur beginning in 2015. Projected emissions cuts that would result:
Sulfur: 98 percent
Soot: 85 percent
Nitrogen oxide: 80 percent
Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Thousands of big ships calling at the Port of Houston each year would switch to cleaner low-sulfur fuel once they move within 230 miles of the coast under federal rules announced Monday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the standards to curb harmful emissions from oceangoing vessels at the nation’s ports. The new rules would cut the sulfur content of the fuels ships use in controlled areas along coasts by 98 percent over the next decade, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said at a news conference at Port Newark in New Jersey.

“This is an important—and long overdue — step in our efforts to protect the air and water along our shores, and the health of the people in our coastal communities,” Jackson said. The proposed rules would have a significant effect on the bustling Port of Houston, where more than 8,000 vessels called last year, including tankers, container ships and cruise ships. The port is one of the reasons why the region’s air ranks among the nation’s dirtiest.

The switch to a fuel with less sulfur, as proposed by the EPA, would be the equivalent of eliminating 6 million cars that meet current emissions standards from Houston’s roads, according to a newly released report by a coalition of environmental and public health groups. “It’s a no-brainer,” said Elena Craft, a Houston-based air quality specialist for the Environmental Defense Fund. “It will be the most effective emissions reduction effort we have, and the beauty is that it doesn’t require us to do anything but ask for these restrictions.”

United Nations has role
The EPA’s proposed rules must be approved by the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, which regulates shipping for 168 member nations. Jackson said the maritime agency could adopt the standards as soon as next year, with the new rules taking effect in 2015. Oceangoing ships, which are primarily foreign owned and operated, typically run on the tar-like sludge known as bunker fuel, one of the cheapest and dirtiest fuels available.

Sulfur in diesel fuel is a major source of tiny, airborne particulates that are linked to cancer and other illnesses. The proposed rules could save 8,300 lives a year through reduced respiratory illnesses and heart disease by improving air quality as far inland as Kansas, according to the EPA.

The Port of Houston Authority, which oversees the port’s operations, supports “anything that reduces our environmental impact,” spokeswoman Lisa Whitlock said in response to the EPA’s proposed rules.

But Whitlock said there is concern that the stringent standards could put the port at a competitive disadvantage if neighboring countries don’t sign on. Canada is on board with the EPA’s plan, while talks with Mexico are under way, Jackson said.

The new rules could cost shipping companies $3.2 billion in higher fuel costs and new equipment, according to EPA estimates. Jackson said that translates into an increased cost of about 3 cents for each pair of sneakers shipped into the United States.

But a Port of Houston fuel supplier said the change could put some smaller international shippers out of business. “It’s all about cost,” said Tom Marian, vice president of Buffalo Marine Service. “Shippers, especially in this environment, probably a lot of them are operating at a loss. Their margins are razor thin.”

Chronicle reporter Carolyn Feibel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:51 AM
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Comment from the Oil King?
Do any merchant vessels still burn anything heavier than diesel?

Goods traveling on the ocean will cost more.That's a given. Wonder how this plan will work if the IMO and other nations balk at cooperating.

Ahh, the smell of stack gas in the morning!
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynalow View Post
Comment from the Oil King?
Do any merchant vessels still burn anything heavier than diesel?

Goods traveling on the ocean will cost more.That's a given. Wonder how this plan will work if the IMO and other nations balk at cooperating.

Ahh, the smell of stack gas in the morning!
There are several grades of heavy oil that are more sulfurous than diesel that are burned in power plants ashore so I assume they use similar at sea.

My ship converted from NSFO to JP-5 and it was a mercy. NSFO stunk to high heaven and in order to burn it we had to heat it to 150F (IIRC) to atomize it. Also it's ash content was huge so you were frequently getting complaints from the bridge about smoke. Also firesides cleaning was every 600 steaming hours vs 1800 for JP-5. But it sure had a lot more latent heat. It was probably a third again as energetic as JP-5.

I don't know whether anybody still burns bunker oil. If they do, it's probably some greek-flagged vessels that don't come near the western world. Good question.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:01 AM
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From wikipedia.

In the maritime field another type of classification is used for fuel oils:

* MGO (Marine gasoil) - roughly equivalent to No. 2 fuel oil, made from distillate only
* MDO (Marine diesel oil) - A blend of gasoil and heavy fuel oil
* IFO (Intermediate fuel oil) A blend of gasoil and heavy fuel oil, with less gasoil than marine diesel oil
* MFO (Medium fuel oil) - A blend of gasoil and heavy fuel oil, with less gasoil than intermediate fuel oil
* HFO (Heavy fuel oil) - Pure or nearly pure residual oil, roughly equivalent to No. 6 fuel oil

Marine diesel oil contains some heavy fuel oil, unlike regular diesels. Also, marine fuel oils sometimes contain waste products such as used motor oil.

[edit] Standards and classification

Marine fuels were traditionally classified after their kinematic viscosity. This is a mostly valid criteria for the quality of the oil as long as the oil is made only from atmospheric distillation. Today, almost all marine fuels are based on fractions from other more advanced refinery processes and the viscosity itself says little about the quality as fuel. CCAI and CII are two indices which describe the ignition quality of residual fuel oil, and CCAI is especially often calculated for marine fuels. Despite this marine fuels are still quoted on the international bunker markets with their viscosity due to the fact that marine engines are designed to use different viscosities of fuel. [1]. The unit of viscosity used is the Centistoke and the fuels most frequently quoted are listed below in order of cost, the least expensive first-

* IFO 180 - Intermediate fuel oil with a viscosity of 180 Centistokes
* LS 180 - Low Sulphur intermediate fuel oil with a viscosity of 180 Centistokes
* IFO 380 - Intermediate fuel oil with a viscosity of 380 Centistokes
* LS 380 - Low Sulphur intermediate fuel oil with a viscosity of 380 Centistokes
* MDO - Marine diesel oil.
* MGO - Marine gasoil.

The density is also an important parameter for fuel oils since marine fuels are purified before use to remove water and dirt from the oil. Since the purifiers use centrifugal force, the oil must have a density which is sufficiently different from water. Older purifiers had a maximum of 991 kg/m3; with modern purifiers it is also possible to purify oil with a density of 1010 kg/m3.

The first British standard for fuel oil came in 1982. The latest standard is ISO 8217 from 2005. The ISO standard describe four qualities of distillate fuels and 10 qualities of residual fuels. Over the years the standards have become stricter on environmentally important parameters such as sulfur content. The latest standard also banned the adding of used lubricating oil (ULO).

Some parameters of marine fuel oils according to ISO 8217 (3. ed 2005):
Marine Distillate Fuels
Parameter Unit Limit DMX DMA DMB DMC
Density at 15C kg/m3 Max - 890.0 900.0 920.0
Viscosity at 40C mm/s Max 5.5 6.0 11.0 14.0
Viscosity at 40C mm/s Min 1.4 1.5 - -
Water % V/V Max - - 0.3 0.3
Sulfur1 % (m/m) Max 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.0
Aluminium + Silicon2 mg/kg Max - - - 25
Flash point3 C Min 43 60 60 60
Pour point, Summer C Max - 0 6 6
Pour point, Winter C Max - -6 0 0
Cloud point C Max -16 - - -
Calculated Cetane Index Min 45 40 35 -

1. Max sulfur content is 1.5% in designated areas.
2. The aluminium+silicon value is used to check for remains of the catalyst after catalytic cracking. Most catalysts contains aluminium or silicon and remains of catalyst can cause damage to the engine.
3. The flash point of all fuels used in the engine room should be at least 60C (DMX is used for things like emergency generators and not normally used in the engine room).
Marine Residual Fuels
Parameter Unit Limit RMA 30 RMB 30 RMD 80 RME 180 RMF 180 RMG 380 RMH 380 RMK 380 RMH 700 RMK 700
Density at 15C kg/m3 Max 960.0 975.0 980.0 991.0 991.0 991.0 991.0 1010.0 991.0 1010.0
Viscosity at 50C mm/s Max 30.0 30.0 80.0 180.0 180.0 380.0 380.0 380.0 700.0 700.0
Water % V/V Max 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Sulfur1 % (m/m) Max 3.5 3.5 4.0 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
Aluminium + Silicon2 mg/kg Max 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
Flash point3 C Min 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60
Pour point, Summer C Max 6 24 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
Pour point, Winter C Max 0 24 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

1. Max sulfur content is 1.5% in designated areas.
2. The aluminium+silicon value is used to check for remains of the catalyst after catalytic cracking. Most catalysts contains aluminium or silicon and remains of catalyst can cause damage to the engine.
3. The flash point of all fuels used in the engine room should be at least 60C.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:04 AM
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We burned all kinds of waste oil in our boilers. 2 things we didn't burn were light fuels (gasoline) and oil with too much particulates (clog burner sprayer plates and filters) or too much water -- nobody likes sputtering burners in a boiler.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:58 AM
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I suppose that if this implemented by the IMO, large vessels will convert to using the cleaner fuel. Wouldn't seem to make too much sense to carry two different fuels. Or maybe they could just fuel up with whatever fuel the destination country mandated in their waters. They'll figure it out...and the consumer will pay more.

Ms. Jackson, who until recently ran the NJ DEP here in Joisey, says this is an important step to "protect the water along out shores". I'm not sure about that. Shorelines here in NJ are just fine as it is. Some of the cleanest ocean water in the nation. Nothing wrong with the air quality here either. Can't speak to Houston or Long Beach or other busy ports.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:07 PM
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Even if it makes little difference it makes me feel so much better to know that our government is doing something about air pollution, even if it's ineffectual and adds to the cost of imports. It's actions like these that have made our commercial maritime industry, from shipyard to boneyard, the powerhouse it is today.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Even if it makes little difference it makes me feel so much better to know that our government is doing something about air pollution, even if it's ineffectual and adds to the cost of imports. It's actions like these that have made our commercial maritime industry, from shipyard to boneyard, the powerhouse it is today.

I wonder what the large vessel commercial tonnage produced in US shipyards is today.( Not counting Navy, CG or other Govt. contracts). Can't be too much. They do much commercial building down in Pascagoula or some of the other southern yards? Tonnage capacities? I mean, there is no US flag merchant marine to speak of, right?
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dynalow View Post
I wonder what the large vessel commercial tonnage produced in US shipyards is today.( Not counting Navy, CG or other Govt. contracts). Can't be too much. They do much commercial building down in Pascagoula or some of the other southern yards? Tonnage capacities? I mean, there is no US flag merchant marine to speak of, right?
If I remember correctly, most American companies went offshore to avoid maritime union rules that put them at a competitive disadvantage. So they reflagged mostly to Liberia and Panama. To enter US waters they must still be in compliance with USCG regs.

That loss of shipping resulted in loss of ship building. So now maritime states' congressional reps do all they can to convince the USN to scrap older vessels and build lots of new specialized vessels. So the Naval vessels are becoming not unlike GM automobiles. Expense bloated by lack of serious competition, exorbitant union labor, parts and supplies from as many states in the union as congress can force, building ships that the Navy doesn't need for a war that was never fought. What is needed is a littoral capacity, not deep blue surface vessels.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:03 PM
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What is needed is a littoral capacity, not deep blue surface vessels.
Not so sure. I think we'd be better served by lots of both.

- Peter.

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