At the end of December 2000 DNV Petroleum Services (DNVPS) received five fuel oil samples from bunker operations in Durban with a flash point below the minimum ISO 8217:1996 value of 60 degrees celsius. The off-spec fuel ranged from flash point values of 54 to 59 degrees celsius.
Ships receiving such fuels are in violation of SOLAS 1974 Amendment 1 Chapter II-2, Reg.15 Safety Standard. If your ship recently bunkered fuel in Durban, please ensure that the fuel quality is known. The flash point of fuel is the measure of the tendency of the sample to form a flammable mixture with air under controlled laboratory conditions. It is only one of a number of properties taken into consideration when the overall flammability hazard of a fuel is calculated.
From a safety point of view, Members should avoid hot work or smoking or any other heat source in the vicinity of fuel storage tank and vents. The risks of electrical charges must also be considered when using metallic sounding or sampling devices. Such devices should be earthed or bonded to the tank structure.
Source of information:
Det Norske Veritas