New low sulphur fuel lube launched

Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter · 24 October 2018


A newly formulated 40BN cylinder oil has been launched by ExxonMobil. Mobilgard 540 has been specifically designed to work with the low-sulphur fuels the vast majority of the marine industry are expected to adopt for compliance with the IMO’s 2020 0.5% sulphur cap.

Mobilgard 540 will be available from the first quarter of 2019 and is compatible at any volume with ExxonMobil’s current cylinder oil offer. This will ensure that vessel operators can safely and efficiently switch to compliant fuels with complimentary cylinder oils. The new lubricant will replace Mobilgard 525 and can be used for vessels operating in 0.10% ECAs. This means vessels with non-corrosive engines that burn compliant residual and distillate fuels only need to carry one cylinder oil.

“We anticipate deliveries of Mobilgard 540 to start during the first quarter of 2019, which will provide our customers with plenty of time to run down stocks of cylinder oils ahead of the IMO deadline,” said Iain White, Global Field Engineering Manager – ExxonMobil. “The new lubricant will be available across our global port network and via our extensive distribution network, underlining our commitment to support the maritime industry on a seamless transition to a compliant future.”

ExxonMobil recommends that wessel operators who plan to switch to low-sulphur compliant fuels should consider now how they plan to run down stocks of their cylinder oils in advance of the IMO deadline, so they can minimise the mixing and disposal of redundant products where possible. Operators should work closely with suppliers to help manage lubricant inventories to achieve the most efficient switchover possible ahead of 2020.

ExxonMobil will continue to supply high BN cylinder oils for customers that choose scrubbers as their method of compliance. A new ultra-low BN formulation suitable for customers using LNG is also in development using ExxonMobil’s bespoke slow speed test engine, ensuring that whatever route an operator chooses to compliance, ExxonMobil has the fuels, lubricants and services to effectively support them.

ExxonMobil has confirmed that all its compliant, 0.50% sulphur fuels developed to date are residual grades, ranging from RMD 80 to RMG 380, meeting specification levels set out in ISO 8217:2017 and confirmed that the formulations are all compatible with each other, provided that bunkering, storage and handling best practice guidance is followed.

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