Nautical Control Solutions (NCS) announced today that Buffalo Marine Service of Houston successfully tested its FuelTrax bunkering system on a delivery of 1500 metric tons of IFO 500 to Maersk Wyoming, a 292-meter container ship operated by Maersk Line, the liner shipping activity of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group (MAERSKB:Copenhagen).
The test took place on August 26, 2009 at Barbours Cut terminal at the Port of Houston. The crew of Buffalo 401k pumped at the rate of 250 metric tons per hour, with accuracy measured to less than 0.1% between the barge and the ship. Accuracy was verified by Maersk Wyoming’s own in-line mass flow meter.
“This is an industry changing event,” said Anthony George, CEO of NCS. “This highly accurate way of measuring and reporting fuel transfers takes away the uncertainty in selling and purchasing marine fuels. As consumers, we expect accuracy when fueling our automobiles, but the marine industry has had to make do with manual dipping of tanks and volume-to-mass conversion calculations that introduce error. Not anymore. Ship owners can now expect to receive what they pay for at the pump”.
The FuelTrax-based system provides real-time measurement of bunker deliveries irrespective of product type, viscosity, or temperature. More importantly, the system will accurately measure barrels and tons regardless of whether there is air, fuel, or both in the piping system.
Utilizing a Micro Motion Coriolis-type meter from Emerson (NYSE: EMR), mass, volume, density, and temperature readings were displayed simultaneously on a user-friendly touch-screen monitor aboard Buffalo Marine’s San Joaquin, a 75-foot (23 meter) tug that pushes Buffalo 401k.
When all the fuel had been delivered, the crew of San Joaquin touched the “print” button on the screen, the bunker delivery receipt was printed, and the event was completed.
Pat Studdert, President, Buffalo Marine Service, said “FuelTrax has eliminated delivery gaps in the bunkering business. Buffalo Marine crews now possess a reliable metering system that permits them to deliver multiple bunker orders without the uncertainty of stop-gauges, repeated loadings at the storage facility, and disputes over viscosity and quantity adjustments.
“FuelTrax also bolsters our “Go Green” philosophy of protecting the environment,” continued Mr. Studdert. “Specifically, fewer loadings at the terminal reduce the probability of spills and decrease the amount of fuel burned by the tows in order to make these transits. Thus, we reduce our overhead while substantially lowering our emissions.
“Of course, as the region’s leader in the delivery of bunkers, FuelTrax pays vast dividends for our customers. They are provided with real-time bunker delivery tickets from an extremely accurate metering system. This removes any doubts on who received what. The precise measurement in barrels and metric tons, top-notch record keeping, and ease of operation complements Buffalo Marine’s goal of exceeding our customer’s expectations.”
Mr. George added, “Version 2.0 of the system will provide customers a 24-hour, seven day per week Web-based portal to access their bunkers worldwide. Coupled with a fuel product digital signature, terminals, transporters, and vessel owners will have the ability to reconcile purchases online once the delivery is completed. It will move the business transaction part of bunkering from the deck to the office where it belongs.”
About Buffalo Marine Service, Inc.
Buffalo Marine Service (buffalomarine.com) began in 1935 with one barge on the Houston Ship Channel. Today, Buffalo maintains one of the youngest and most energy-efficient fleets with 14 towboats and 29 tank barges. Buffalo Marine provides the highest quality bunkering and line-haul towing services of any company along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
About Micro Motion
Introduced in 1977, Micro Motion Coriolis meters (emerson.com) were the first to provide direct, accurate, on-line measurement of mass flow, which is critical for controlling many processes. Since that time, world-leading Micro Motion flow and density measurement devices have set the standard for superior measurement technology. With over 600,000 Coriolis flow and density meters installed around the world, Micro Motion has unsurpassed application expertise and technical support. Visit emerson.com to learn more.
About Nautical Control Solutions, LP
NCS (fueltrax.com) is the leader in marine fuel management technology. Drawing on 17 years of designing and manufacturing control systems in process industries, its patented FuelTrax marine fuel management system entered the market in 2006 and is now proven on over 100 vessels worldwide in both brown and blue water environments.