News 15 Aug, 2022

West Bunker Fuel Quality Advisory Service - 2022 Upgrade

Dmitry Kisil
Dmitry Kisil
Senior Loss Prevention Officer

Shipping, one of the most energy-efficient modes of transportation of most commodities, also remains a focus of international efforts to reduce human impact on the environment through the fuel used for the propulsion of ships. At the same time, fuel is a high operating cost for all conventional ship types. Therefore, fuel quality is paramount for all aspects of the merchant navy operations, from safety to routine maintenance.  

The cost of the bunkers has been at the forefront of the maritime agenda, among other unprecedented challenges. However, while the implications of high bunker costs on budgets are clear to everyone, the link between fuel price and fuel quality is much less noticeable. In his recent article, Steve Bee of the VPS Group (a leader in the marine bunker quality analysis market) highlighted from their research that rising crude oil prices were closely related to the rising fuel quality problems manifested in shipping.

Driven by an ambition to provide exceptional service, West has expanded cooperation with VPS in delivering the latest marine bunker quality statistics to our Members. In addition to data on bunker fuel off-specs and ISO 8217 parameter averages powered by VPS PortStats, the Club Members now have access to bunker prices for 20 main bunkering ports delivered by BunkerEx. The new additional data also include the calorific value of tested fuel orders.

The information available via Neptune and the Loss Prevention Department allows Members to make informed decisions on fuel procurement and may help to supplement energy efficiency measures and improve the CII rating of their vessels, all of which will become compulsory as of the 01st of January 2023.

Another helpful feature introduced into the West Bunker Fuel Advisory service is the theoretical short lifting amount calculated from a difference between density declared in BDN and the actual density of tested samples. The short bunker fuel supply is a known problem within the maritime sector. Statistical data helps identify ports where short lifting of the bunker is less likely, making it a factor in purchase decision-making. 

West's Bunker Fuel Quality Advisory Service was launched in October 2020 and upgraded in May 2021. Cumulative bunker quality off-specification data for the past six months for the top 10 bunkering ports are accessible via Neptune. In addition, data on other bunkering locations, a specific historical interval, or a particular quality parameter is available upon request.

We look forward to your enquiries through the LPQueries mailbox as we can provide you with much more comprehensive statistics than is available on Neptune. Any feedback on the Bunker Fuel Advisory service will be much appreciated.