The Port of Houston has been hit with a contamination issues that is causing the sticking of fuel plungers, and fuel pump seizures failures on a large number of vessels.
“This fuel oil contamination could lead to engine failures and associated losses of propulsion potentially having catastrophic and wide ranging consequences,” USCG said.
Fuel tester VPS has identified the presence of 4-Cumyl-Phenol which is used in the the manufacture of epoxy resins and as an emulsifier in pesticides, both of which utilise the adhesive qualities 4-cumyl-phenol exhibits, but the source of the contamination remains unknown but is believed to origniate from the use of fuel oil cutter stocks.
“The Coast Guard recommends that vessel owners and managers ensure vessel operators are made aware of this potential hazardous condition, closely monitor fuel oil system components and consult their bunker suppliers and other technical service providers regarding this issue,” the USCG notice said.
The standard fuel oil tests for he ISO 8217 specification d0 not detect the underlying problems.