What can be done to avoid bunker quality and/or quantity disputes and claims?
Marine fuel is a product that is sold by weight but delivered by volume, requiring the bunker agent or vessel chief to manually convert volume to weight in order to determine the actual quantity of fuel delivered. Accepted for decades, these manual techniques are prone to error under the best of circumstances. Given today’s focus on cost reduction and the elimination of cheating, these old methods are quickly becoming unacceptable.
Fuel characteristics such as aeration, temperature or contaminates (deliberately added or not) will artificially inflate volume readings and contribute to inaccurate tank strapping, resulting in volume calculation errors and reducing the actual quantity of fuel loaded onto a vessel.
Additionally, the contaminants will affect not only the quality of the fuel, but can also cause costly damage to the vessel engines. Then, there is the cost of de-bunkering and the time lost dealing with the problem to consider.
For the vessel owner / operator, the error can be compounded from terminal to barge to vessel resulting in under-delivery of the quantity ordered. If the bunker agent intentionally manipulates the process, then systematic shorting will become a problem.
From the delivery agent / fuel provider’s standpoint, volume calculation errors can mean an over or under delivery of the quantity ordered, jeopardizing profits, and risking their reputation as a trusted fuel supplier.
BunkerTrax™ is the Solution to an Age Old Delivery Problem
BunkerTrax bunker delivery, fuel transfer, and quality monitoring system electronically measures the weight of the fuel as it is delivered to the vessel and monitors the quality. BunkerTrax can operate as a stand-alone system or it can be installed as an option for FuelTrax® and/or with TankTrax™ for the fuel management system that meets your needs.
Quantity & Quality
Using Coriolis flow technology, BunkerTrax automatically measures the mass, temperature, and density of fuel and then dynamically calculates volume as the fuel is being transferred.
BunkerTrax also determines if the quality of the fuel is within specification. If fuel is out-of-spec, vessel personnel are immediately alerted so they can halt the bunkering process and investigate any discrepancies.
New Product Option – On-Line Water Measurement Device (OWD)
Even small amounts of water in fuel can be detrimental to offshore power generators. In response to customer needs, NCS has added an option for an OWD sensor that can detect water in fuel oil down to 100 ppm or better. The vessel crew are immediately alerted to water during the fuel loading/offloading process so that the transfer can be halted before contaminated fuel is delivered to the platform.