ExxonMobil has announced that it is expanding its range of special fuels for use within Emission Control Areas (ECA) with the introduction of its Advanced Fuel Marine ECA 200 (AFME 200). The new fuel version joins the company’s Premium HDME 50 as part of a new category of marine fuel that has been developed as a result of the 2015 ECA sulfur limit of 0.10 percent.
ExxonMobil said the Premium AFME 200 is an advanced fuel oil formulated using a proprietary refining process that removes sulfur, metals and other contaminants. This enables the fuel to comply with the ECA sulfur cap and also helps to optimize the performance of engines and extend component life.
The viscosity is comparable to heavy fuel oils (HFOs) enabling similar storage and handling practices for both fuels onboard vessels. Both fuels require preheating, therefore reducing the risk of thermal shock to engine components during switchovers. Thermal shock may result in fuel pump seizures and engine shutdowns and has the potential to occur when switching from heated HFO to marine gas oil (MGO) at ambient temperatures.
“Although MGO was readily available for operators to comply with the 2015 sulfur cap, new fuels made available in the market have raised the bar in terms of both safety and performance benefits,” said Rob Drysdale, global field engineering and logistics manager, ExxonMobil Marine Fuels and Lubricants. “The Premium AFME 200 and other new ECA fuels have a higher viscosity and flashpoint than MGO, helping shipping companies to undertake their day-to-day operations in a safe and efficient way.”
Extensive fuel compatibility and stability tests were undertaken during the development of the fuel, including the ISO 10307-2 sediment test. The results indicated that the AFME 200 is fully compatible with the HDME 50 and MGO. While a unique product with advantages over traditional fuel oil, it does meet and exceed all the tests included in the ISO 8217:2012 RME 180 specification.
The AFME 200 is available from the Port of Southampton (U.K.) via barge delivery. ExxonMobil said it now supplies ECA compliant fuel at more than 40 ports worldwide. Throughout 2015, ExxonMobil will continue to expand its ECA compliant fuels offer.