Do you think that fuel oil conditioning chemicals can make a difference on the combustion performance of ME and DGs? Does the fuel analysis impact your decision for chemical use and how?
Hello @Philip.Argyropoulos, this is an interesting question.
We have seen an exploding market of fuel additives / conditioning chemicals since the advent of the 2020 Sulphur Cap. Their manufacturers often claim that these chemicals can improve the combustion, reduce the fuel oil consumption, improve the fuel stability, increase the time between overhaul of the engine components etc. The feedback from major M/E and D/G makers is that the claimed improvements have not been actually measured or verified neither during shop tests nor in service. Their position is that if good fuel management practices are followed (thorough purification, minimum commingling, frequent drainage of the service / settling tanks etc.), the engine components are well maintained and the fuel within the ISO specified limits, then the performance of the engine will be satisfactory, without the need of fuel additives.
In fact, the use of fuel additives might even distort the outcome of an investigation in cases of insurance claims related to fuel issues and even lead to disputes with hull and machinery underwriters.
At this point I would like to clarify that chemicals for the improvement the lubricity of the MGO may help and can be usually consumed without problems.
So, for HFO/VLSFO, fuel oil conditioning chemicals is generally not recommended. While for MGO the use of lubricity additive is recommended especially when there is a low lubricity alert in the analysis.