IMO 2020

Adjusting to the IMO 2020 Regulations.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a new set of regulations regarding the reduction of sulfur content in fuel oils for ships. Health and environment are trending topics that needs to be addressed by all industries. For shipping to remain the most environmentally friendly means of transportation, IMO has decided to reduce the amount of sulphur from 3,5% m/m (mass/mass) to 0,5% m/m.

The implications.

The new IMO regulations are mandatory for all fuel oils used onboard. This includes the various fuel oils used for the main and auxiliary engines and boilers. There are a couple of options to comply with the regulations.

  • The first option is to switch to low sulfur MDO and DMA fuels. These are proven fuels and widely available. However, these types of fuel oils have a very low viscosity with a poor lubricity.
  • The second option is to shift from Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (LSFO). Fuel suppliers have been testing and blending different types of oils and can produce enough LSFO to meet the demand to set the IMO regulations in place as of the 1st of January 2020. However, these blends differ in quality and mixture per supplier. Due to the low sulfur content, these have very poor lubrication properties.
  • Another option to meet the sulfur oxide (SOx) emission requirements is using exhaust gas scrubbers that “clean” the HFO emission before they are emitted into the atmosphere.

The problems.

All options to meet the IMO 2020 regulations bring problems for the existing fuel pumps, as the lubricity of the fuels goes down. A sulfur content of 0.5% m/m will also lead to a lower fuel viscosity, down to 1.1 cSt. A very large number of on board installed screw pumps are not equipped to work with such low viscosities, in combination with poor lubricity. Due to its driving interference, a certain lubricating fluid film between the screws is mandatory to avoid the pumps from seizing.

HFOs are high in viscosity but often lead to problems with the mechanical seals with leakage as a result.

The solutions​​​​​​​.
KRAL can assist you in making a trouble-free transition to the new IMO 2020 regulations. We do offer a wide range screw pumps that can safely handle all upcoming Low Sulfur Fuel Oil blends such as MGO and distillates.

Therefor KRAL has developed an innovative surface treatment technology for the screws, increasing surface hardness and reducing friction coefficient by the power of ten, that can handle these various blends and low lubrication qualities.

By choosing to use scrubbers as your means of adapting, existing pumps can still process the high sulfur fuel oil (HFO), but due to its inconvenient properties, unpleasant leakage and wear at the mechanical seals are often a problem.

KRAL pumps are able to handle all types of fuels and viscosity ranges, plus we offer hermetically sealed magnetic coupled pumps, that prevent from any type of leaking.

No matter what your challenge is, KRAL can help you comply with the IMO 2020 regulations.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​