Maersk acknowledges Buffalo Marine Service as leading adopter of new flowmeter technology
Bunkerworld: Maersk 'very optimistic' about flowmeter potential
2nd October 2009 10:47 GMT
Maersk to introduce formal agreements with suppliers in the near future
Container shipping giant Maersk says it is "very optimistic" about the use of flowmeters "following an encouraging first wave of flowmeter installations and bunkerings". The company is in the process of finalizing its first wave of installation consisting of 50 flowmeters, Jesper Rosenkrans Ødum, Business Development Manager, Maersk Oil Trading, told Bunkerworld.
He said the first wave was set to be followed by "a large scale roll-out" of the technology on its ships.
Maersk believes the ability of Coriolis-based flowmeters to accurately to determine supply volumes during bunkering operations will be a great benefit to the industry compared to traditional methods. Another representative for Maersk Oil Trading, Claus Møller Petersen, told the 30th International Bunker Conference (IBC) in Oslo in April that current practices for measuring bunker quantity "belong to the stone age" and that it was time for the bunker industry to adapt its operations to the 21st century. Møller Petersen argued that bunker quantity measuring methods employed on barges around the world leave a lot of room for error.
"Potential discrepancies between two certified flowmeters will be insignificant"
In a recent letter to the editor , Rosenkrans Ødum responded to concerns raised by CBI Engineering about the accuracy of mass flowmeters, and whether there will be a conflict between vessel-mounted and barge-mounted flowmeters. He defended their accuracy over "potentially inaccurate estimates based on volume, density and temperature," that other methods rely on. Rosenkrans Ødum also downplayed the potential for conflict between ship and barge-mounted flowmeters. "The high accuracy of Coriolis flowmeters means that potential discrepancies between two certified flowmeters will be insignificant. Should readings from two certified meters on the same bunkering differ slightly, one can easily envision a resolution of settling at the midpoint between the two," he suggested.
He pointed to US barge operator Buffalo Marine Service as an example of how flowmeters can be "a success on ships and barges alike". In fact the first delivery where Buffalo Marine employed its barge flowmeter was to a Maersk vessel and was corroborated by the latter's onboard flowmeter.
Rosenkrans Ødum told Bunkerworld that the discrepancy between the two flowmeters was less than 0.1%, "which offers additional support for the usefulness of flowmeters.
"Further, the efficiency gains from time-saving benefits both parties. As the hassle and haggling is eliminated, ships are able to comply with their schedules and barges are able to complete their bunkering more quickly," he observed.
He claimed that these efficiency gains were "generating excitement in all corners of the industry" and that bunker suppliers have reacted positively. "Suppliers have recognised the flowmeter's ability to level the playing field and to provide the sort of transparency the industry has been seeking for years. A number of suppliers have been keen to get engaged in the process and are eager to stay on top of the development rather than being left behind as the industry progresses," he told Bunkerworld.
"We intend to introduce the formal agreements with supporting documents to our suppliers in the next couple of months, with the view to amending terms and conditions to incorporate flowmeters," he continued.
He said Maersk was likely to favor suppliers "who have embraced this new technology" and that those who failed to do so would place themselves in a disadvantageous position.