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The Bunkering Operations on a Tug 70

Genesis Quezon Tugs, Inc. (GQTI) conducts scheduled bunkering operations for every tugboat every month.

 

In shipping circles, the terms “bunker” and “bunkering” are often heard and used, but what exactly do these terms mean?


Bunkering is the process of supplying fuel for use by ships, and includes the shipboard logistics of loading fuel and distributing it among available bunker tanks. The word “bunker,” meanwhile, is used extensively in defense forces and to define an area to store supplies and safeguard personnel.


On board ships, fuel oil bunkering is a critical operation that requires the safe reception of oil into the ship’s tanks without causing overflow. The procedure requires utmost care and alertness to prevent any kind of accident or oil spill.

Preparation

The GQTI team strictly adheres to safety guidelines in order to avoid accidents, mishaps or any other unwanted event. Prior to operation, the GQTI team shall monitor and update the ETA of bunker truck one day – 12H – 6H before the operation takes place. Similarly, the team shall keep track of the ETA of a tugboat to be bunkered and communicate the arrival time of all parties involved.

Depending on the amount of fuel to be bunkered, the bunkering operation for a tugboat consumes at least two to three hours.

In the pre-bunkering stage, the team ensures the readiness and safety of the bunkering equipment and storage tanks. Before the operation starts, members taking part in the bunkering process should hold a meeting. The members are responsible for preparing the check list and ensuring it is filled in so that nothing is missed. They are also in-charge of inspecting the gauge, verifying the reference heights of the bunker tanker’s cargo oil tanks and checking the measurement equipment such as the sounding tape. The bunkering members witness and confirm the opening tank gauging and cargo temperature readings of all cargo oil tanks.

The members should see to it that the bunker is taken alongside safely. Once the tugboat and the truck fuel tank are safely and secure, the C/E and his assistant (4th Engineer/Oiler) should check important specifications and discuss the following with the GQTI bunker team:

– the bunker man is in the Engine Control Room:

1. The rate filling
2. The pressure on the bunker line
3. The proper sealing of tank covers
4. The sampling procedure, which should be collected before transfer of diesel oil from truck to a tugboat bunker
5. Recording of the time started and time finished

Performing the bunkering

As per pre-bunkering procedure and receiving the marine fuel, the GQTI team checks all the diesel oil tank seals and receives the diesel oil fuel based on the bunker plan.

Wrapping Up

Once bunkering is completed, the members should ensure that the correct amount and quantity of bunker fuel has been recorded onboard with utmost safety. Bunker is taken after the operational sounding of all the tanks. The volume should be corrected for heel, temperature and neither trim afterwards.

As part of the warp-up process, the next step is to witness and confirm the closing tank gauging and cargo temperature readings of all cargo oil tanks. Then, verification of the delivered quantity in the bunker delivery note prepared by the cargo officer is done.

Once everything is settled, the hose is disconnected. Team members should make sure all the check list and documents are filled in and signed by the authorized person. Then, the Chief Engineer will make the entry of the operation in the logbook.

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