Marine fuel tracing blockchain completes trials

The first pilot of the BunkerTrace blockchain system for maritime fuel tracing has been successfully completed, with a Boskalis-owned dredger, Prins der Nederlanden, accepting delivery of 900 cubic metres (CBM) of ISO 8217:2010 compliant fuel supplied by Minerva with a unique tracer added.

The tracer was added to the fuel as it was loaded onto a Minerva bunker barge, via a dosing pump on the fuel line. Bureau Veritas verified that the fuel line and receiving cargo tanks were empty at loading.

As the fuel was bunkered, the crew of the Prins der Nederlanden used an onboard sampling kit to test for the presence of the tracer, a process that takes less than two minutes to detect the presence of the marker at two parts per billion in the fuel.

Samples of fuel were collected before and after the tracer was added for further analysis, and the results of the test were logged in a blockchain-based transaction record.

“After last year’s ‘epidemic’ of bad bunker fuel, it’s unsurprising that owners, insurers and operators are worried about the quality of fuel available as shipping scrambles for available product post-2020 that will see more fragmentation in fuel supplies as more fuel is blended to meet compliance,” said Marc Johnson, CEO of BunkerTrace.

“This successful trial of BunkerTrace has demonstrated that it’s an easy, reliable means of introducing a level of transparency and traceability into the marine fuel supply chain that we’ve never had before. We’ve had a high level of interest in the product so far, and this is an important step on the way to rolling this out to the market.”