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Fuel Oil transfer work onboard the vessel - safety factors

Fuel oils are loaded through deck fill connections that have sample connections provided to allow the fuel to be sampled as it is taken aboard. HFO is placed in storage tanks fitted with heating coils. In preparation for use, HFO is transferred to the fuel oil settling tanks via FO transfer pumps, which are equipped with a suction strainer. Piping is so arranged that the pumps can convey fuel between storage tanks and the deck connections for offloading. Settling tanks are used to sanction gross water and solids to settle on the bottom.

It is also common for a parcel of fuel oil when permitted to settle in a tank; the viscosity of the liquid can progress. This development results in increased input torque requirements and potentially influence the delivered product. In positive displacement pumps‚ the delivered flow will expand, and in centrifugal pumps, that all delivered will contract. Therefore, it is essential to size any fuel pump consider the characteristics of the fluid‚ pressure‚ supply and operational objectives as well as normal environmental conditions.

containerships operational matters
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
Fuel Oil transfer within machinery space:

The Chief Engineer should have the crew well know and understand the following matters to prevent oil leakage:
No Fuel Oil transfer into settling tanks shall be carried out in port or at anchorage in principle. However transfer of Fuel Oil between settling tank and storage tank is permitted provided that the transfer is necessary due to unexpected long stay in port, large consumption of fuel by cargo operation and imperative use of FO shifter during heating FO in storage tank.

tanker cargo line & stripping line

During FO transfer into settling tanks in port or at anchorage in an unavoidable cause, if any abnormality is discovered on the oil level, the pump shall be shut down immediately, and the matter shall be reported to the engineer on watch the causes shall be located and thoroughly investigated. And the transfer work shall not be restarted until the causes have been completely removed.

When the FO transfer pump is operated manually, the oil level shall be monitored all the time. When a normally closed valve in the FO-transfer-related valves must be operated, notices shall be put up beforehand in the machinery control room and near the valve to show that the valve is under works. The engineer on the watch shall confirm that the valve is closed, and the FO transfer pump is set to automatic mode after completion of manual operation. Operational conditions of the remote level gauges, automatic shutdown devices, and high-level alarms shall be confirmed every day according to the Checklist.

Transfer between Fuel Oil storage tanks

When Fuel Oil transfer work between FO storage tanks or FO transfer work through piping on the deck is carried out, the Chief Engineer shall have the crew well know and understand the following matters, and take preventive measures against marine pollution :
  1. In principle, FO transfer shall not be carried out while the vessel is in port or at anchorage,
  2. If Fuel Oil transfer is carried out while the vessel is in port or at anchorage in an unavoidable case, the work shall be executed with caution.
  3. Closure of deck scuppers and watchkeeping shall be practiced without fail.

The full list of equipment and supplies should be listed in the vessel's Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plans (SOPEP) Manual. Oil Spill Removal Equipment should be marked with two red bands and should be kept in a convenient storeroom. The storeroom should be marked to indicate the contents. The Oil Spill Removal Equipment should not be used for any other purpose. During cargo operations and bunkering, the equipment and supplies should be ready for immediate use. Oil Spill Removal Equipment should include:

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