Increase in fuel problems as use of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil increase – latest in mid-Pacific

On 20 Dec a containership was forced to turn around in the Pacific and limp to a port of refuge in Canada having suffered engine failure on Christmas Eve,

The SM Busan reached the area off Victoria on Vancouver Island on January 1, but due to high winds was forced to anchor off. She was able to proceed to the dock Sunday morning under her own power. She docked at Ogden Point, with the port authority highlighting that she was the first vessel to use mooring extensions that had been put in place to accommodate larger vessels.

It is unclear when the vessel fuelled, however uncommon reports of fuel problems fouling operations do occur. At the beginning of 2021, Maersk filed suit over off-spec fuel alleging contamination that caused damages to two of its containerships. The industry group BIMCO also reported increased problems in a 2020 survey after the conversion to new very low sulfur fuel formulations. The data showed nearly one-third of companies surveyed reported increased wear in engine components, and 18 percent reported fuel pump seizures. Ten percent reported blackouts or propulsion failures related to fuel oil properties.