In the maritime industry, there are vessels of types and sizes but one common thing among them is fuel. Just like the automobile we use daily in our society, ship requires fuel for its operation. With the massive engines comes the demand for fuel to burn and generate power.
Vessels, depending on its engine size and capacity requires corresponding quantity of fuel for its voyage. The fuel oil for ships is stored in “Bunker Tanks" which form part of the ship.
What is Bunker?
Bunker or Bunker fuel is the term for the fuel oil required on a ship to power the engines for propulsion and other machineries onboard. Bunkering could be of fuel oil, lube oil, lng, etc.
There are various types, classifications, grades and standards of Fuel Oil or bunker used on a vessel. Example Include: Heavy fuel oil (HFO), Intermediate Fuel Oil (IFO), Marine gas oil (MGO), Marine diesel oil (MDO), Marine fuel oil (MFO), etc.
The term "bunker" came from the time steam from coal was used in ship propulsion. The storage containers for the coal was popularly known as Bunker.
What is Bunkering Operation?
The operation or process of filling the bunker tanks of a ship with fuel oil from an external source is called Bunkering. Bunkering can also be defined as the action of supplying a ship with bunkers. The amount of fuel oil depends on the ship's tank capacity.
Bunkers are supplied to ships mostly through a bunker barge or fuel supplying vessels.