Did you know that 90% of imports and exports into and out of Africa are transported via sea? Marine transport remains the most cost-effective way to transport goods around the world, and one of the reasons for this is, not only can ships accommodate vast quantities of cargo, but that ships are able to use lower grades of fuel than other modes of long-distance transport, like aircraft.

Marine fuel oil (MFO) is used to power low speed marine diesel engines; and marine gas oil (MGO), which has a lower viscosity to MFO and doesn’t require preheating, is used in medium to high speed marine engines. MFO and MGO is also used by industry to power generators and gas turbines at power and manufacturing plants.

Increasingly, environmental concerns call for fuels with a lower sulphur content, which is cleaner burning. Marine gas oil, also known as bunker gas oil (BG0), supplied by SA Oil contains a maximum sulphur content of 1.5% and has a viscosity of 2.5 centistokes. Whilst sulphur restrictions are currently not in place in African waters, a global sulphur directive from the International Maritime Organisation is expected to come into effect by 2020. This follows on from the European Union’s so-called Sulphur Directive (EU 2016/802), which specifies that, from 1 January 2015, ships travelling in the EU’s ‘sulphur emission control areas’ (SECAs) only use fuel with a sulphur content of no more than 0.15%, or ‘adopt alternative solutions that produce an equal effect’.

For further information, download our Marine Fuels Specification Guide here, or contact us here

Marine Boilers Using Heavy Fuel Oil 

Every marine engine needs to propel its ship by using the energy obtained from the burning of fuel. For ships using marine heavy fuel oil, their energy and propulsion system might look something like that depicted in our marine boiler diagram below. Hover over the interactive bubbles on the sketch to find out how the various parts work together to drive a ship, or dig deeper and read about how cargo ships are powered