Improving fuel accuracy to reduce disputes with fuel suppliers on a world famous super yacht.

Alpeco improve efficiency on SuperYachtOwning an 85 meter long, 2107 tonne boat with 4 main engines delivering 12,445 horsepower places the owner firmly in the super-rich bracket, but even the wealthiest of us all will keep a wary eye on costs, especially when filling a craft whose fuel capacity exceeds 250,000 litres!

When originally built the yacht was fitted with an ultrasonic fuel meter which was fine for deliveries up to 600 litres per minute though discrepancies were nearly always apparent between the yachts intake meter, the tank fuel gauges and the fuel providers own meter readings. As bunkering rates increased to 800 or even 1000 litres per minute the ultrasonic meter simply couldn’t read the faster intake volumes. . The ambient temperature also affects meter accuracy as fuel volume increases or decreases in line with temperature changes.

The super yacht previously owned by respected Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is now managed by an Antibes based corporation who offer the yacht for private hire.  When originally built the yacht was fitted with an ultrasonic fuel meter which was fine for deliveries up to 600 litres per minute though discrepancies were nearly always apparent between the yachts intake meter, the tank fuel gauges and the fuel providers own meter readings. As bunkering rates increased to 800 or even 1000 litres per minute the ultrasonic meter simply couldn’t read the faster intake volumes. . The ambient temperature also affects meter accuracy as fuel volume increases or decreases in line with temperature changes.

As with aircraft, super-yachts need to be working 24 hours a day if possible so a fast turnaround is essential if their high running costs are to be met. It soon became apparent to the new owners that inaccurate and conflicting readings between the various meter reading led to disputes with fuel suppliers. But even more important, a yacht whose passengers may ask at breakfast to be taken across the Atlantic just as easily as they might ask for a boiled egg, always had to ensure they had enough fuel on board to meet such requests. Therefore, fuel accuracy was critical.

M25-POD Meter1The yacht has two chief engineers. These two experienced mariners share the roll back-to-back spending two months on then two months off duty. A call was made to Alpeco with a request to address the problem and hopefully to improve the situation to the point where inaccuracy was no longer an issue. The solution was clear to Alpeco’s design engineers – fitting an Liquid Controls M25-POD-1 intake meter on the bunker line would (a) offer the high degree of accuracy required and (b) could cope with the faster delivery volumes which are now standard in the industry.

The 3” M25 flow meter fits perfectly into the 100mm diameter bunker line and now shows accurate fuel intake at volumes up to 1100 LPM. The new meter also enables the yacht operator to challenge fuel supplier delivery records that conflict with their own and now forms a solid basis for dispute settlement.