BUNKER CONTAMINANT LED TO BREAKDOWN
16th Feb 06
As soon as I joined a vessel we were proceeding towards the Caribbean from the United States. Within a day all the units were found to be behaving badly, with scavenge fires, etc. Also too much of blow past was noticed.
Inspections through scavenge ports revealed most of the units' piston rings were worn down completely, creating all this havoc. As the weather was bad the company was informed and the vessel continued proceeding at slow speed.
Suspecting fuel problem, investigation was started, and new bunker received just two day's back was put into use. In the meanwhile the company came out with a fuel analysis report stating high aluminium content in the fuel. Also company instructed us to check and improve purification to get rid of aluminium to the maximum, and samples were taken and sent ashore.
Later one by one all units were overhauled and a B & W expert was called to assess the situation. Pieces of piston rings were also sent ashore for analysis.
Finally it was confirmed the entire wear down was due to the high aluminium content in the fuel.