Houston bunker contamination issue reaches Singapore

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A fuel contamination issue initially reported in Houston has now extended to Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub. VPS, a fuel checker, identified a case of VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil) contamination at the Texas Port on July 11. High levels of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and related compounds were found in VLSFO bunker fuel supplied by a single supplier in Houston over three months (March to May). DCPDs can make bunker fuel thicker and stickier, leading to power and propulsion problems for ships. VPS revealed that 14 ships have been affected by the contaminated fuel, with 12 having purchased bunkers in Houston and two topping up in Singapore.

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