LUKOIL presented an innovative approach to optimizing cylinder oil usage to ensure ideal engine lubrication at minimum feed rates as well as the latest in fully saturated ester oils that offer excellent oxidation and hydrolytic stability. 76 ship owners/managers, executives from shipyards, engineering firms, oil & gas exploration and services companies, suppliers/service companies, marine consultants, independent surveyors, classification societies managers, inspectors from regional Flag administrations & Port officials from the Middle East were privy to an exceptional discussion.
Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary of the IMarEST UAE who presided the last branch technical meeting of 2016, highlighted that the US Environmental Protection Agency issued the Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulating discharges from commercial vessels to protect American water from ship-borne pollutants and mitigate the propagation of invasive species. He spoke about the critical role Cylinder oils play in neutralizing corrosive Sulphuric acid formed as a by-product of combustion. As such, appropriate oils must be fed depending on a fuel’s Sulphur content to prevent scuffing or cold corrosion during economic engine operation.
Sanjiv Wazir, Regional Technical Manager LUKOIL Marine Lubricants delved into the requirements of the VGP necessitating ships sailing in US waters to use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EAL) in all oil-to-sea interfaces “unless technically infeasible”. He candidly revealed the challenges ships face in correctly identifying lubricants on board that need to be changed to EAL or alternatively to decide not to do when deemed technically infeasible.
Although environmentally preferable, many conventional rubber stern tube seal materials are not compatible with the new EAL. The EAL also absorb more water than mineral oils, so monitoring water content becomes important to maintain lubrication and keep the risk of corrosion and bacteria growth under control.
With environmental regulations prescribing the use of different fuel types in different regions, every ship operating in more than one geographical area needs to store several Cylinder Oils onboard. Sanjiv introduced LUKOIL’s iCOlube (winner of the ‘Technical Innovation Award’ at Seatrade Middle East Maritime Awards 2015), an intelligent cylinder oil lubrication unit designed to blend fresh or even used system oil with 100BN oil commensurate with the engine’s operating conditions and fuel quality, consistently. The advantages are – only one grade of cylinder oil needs to be stored onboard and the engine is always supplied at the optimum feed rate. The only manual input needed is the Sulphur content of the fuel. This innovative approach enables efficient engine operation, optimum maintenance, environmentally friendly technology and reduced oil costs. Sanjiv skilfully addressed the objectives of environmental protection while simultaneously dropping into the needed details of marine engine design.
As there appeared to be never-ending questions from a truly captivated audience, Nikeel had to intervene on behalf of the gourmets so that they could indulge in the host of gastronomic delights conjured up by the Ramada Jumeirah Hotel during the evening’s grand finale. Ironically, discussions on the alcohol contents of saturated and non-saturated Ester oils carried on over some fine spirits.