Recently a ship in the northern European Emissions Control Area (ECA) was detained due to a fail in the sulfur compliance test.

The ship could attest to using marine gas oil (MGO) lifted from Las Palmas. The fuel testing agency, llouyd’s Register Fobas, has the MGO in question tested to containing 0,08% sulfur, which is well within the allowable limit of 0,1%.

The sulfur test the ship failed was taken from the main engine circulation at a time when the ship was idling  at berth in the an EU port. The test result showed 0,14% more sulfur content in the system than the allowable limit.

The ship suffered only a few hours delay and the next port of call was informed of the non-compliance in advance. In between port, while running several tests was taken from different points of the system. They were all tested within the limit.

"When the ship is idle, the fuel being circulated through two-stroke main engine’s fuel circulation system, may potentially pick up high sulphur fuel residues from nooks and crannies of the fuel pipelines and components.” Mohammed from Forbas told Bunkerworld.

The amount of old residue it takes for the sulfur concentration to go above the limit are minuscule. Hence Forbes comments: it is important to designate sampling points to faciliatet the compliance verification.

The ship was allowed to leave the next port with no penalties due to the rigorous testing aboard, documentation and bunker delivery note. 

We may assume that such randomized test will become increasingly frequent at ports in ECA zones. 

Read the full article at