2013 VGP to remain in force for potentially 4 more years

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The following information is the latest update from the United States Environmental protection Agency (EPA)


This week, on December 4, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA): Title IX of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Reauthorization Act of 2018. VIDA establishes a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges, adding a new Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 312(p): Uniform National Standards for Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Vessels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are still assessing the implications of this new law but several important points are provided below.


Vessel General Permit (VGP)

The VGP will not be reissued but the existing 2013 VGP requirements remain in force and effect beyond the current expiration date of that permit until such time that new regulations are finalized and enforceable. Specifically, the provisions of the 2013 VGP, as currently written, apply until EPA publishes National Standards of Performance (NSPs) and the USCG develops implementing regulations for those NSPs (~ 4 years). 


Note: An email sent from EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management to stakeholders on October 10, 2018 indicated that EPA would be late in reissuing the 2013 VGP and specified that new vessels would be unable to obtain coverage under that permit after December 18, 2018. The email strongly encouraged operators to submit any Notices of Intent (NOIs) for coverage under that permit prior to that date. However, as a result of VIDA, NOIs can be submitted after December 18, 2018, consistent with the 2013 VGP requirements (i.e., operators must submit NOIs at least one week prior to discharging in waters subject to the permit). 


Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP)

The sVGP is repealed effective immediately. Specifically, discharges incidental to the normal operation, except for ballast water, from small vessels (i.e., less than 79 feet in length) and commercial fishing vessels of all sizes no longer require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage. Thus, permit coverage for any vessel covered under the sVGP is automatically terminated. No further action on the part of vessel operators is required to complete this termination. 


Any small vessel or commercial fishing vessel covered under the sVGP that will discharge ballast water into waters of the U.S. must obtain permit coverage under the VGP for those ballast water discharges.


Look for further updates in the coming months on the implications of this new CWA Section 312(p): Uniform National Standards for Discharges Incidental to Normal Operation of Vessels. 


For additional updates, please visit https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels

Case Study ISHIMA International Ship Management

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Rapid Service – 5 hours from inquiry to delivery.

When ISHIMA International Ship Management contacted Vickers Oils with an urgent enquiry, Vickers Oils had the agility to deliver product to the vessel within 5 hours!

On 17 September 2018, Vickers Oils received an urgent enquiry from ISHIMA International Ship Management to advise on a product alternative and make delivery within the same day. The vessel was already docked in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates and was in urgent need of five drums of a replacement emulsifiable and biodegradable sterntube lubricant.

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PODCAST: Skills gap, new sustainability task force and electric cars at UEIL Congress 2018

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In October, UEIL, the European lubricants trade association, held its 54thannual congress in Budapest, offering a unique opportunity to players in the European and global lubricants industry to network and discuss latest developments.

Peter Vickers, chair and managing director of Vickers Oils and board member of UEIL commented:

“This year’s congress looked to the future of the lubricants industry, with the following aspects being of particular interest to me:

Recruitment and retention of young talent.

It was suggested that the lubricant industry’s contribution to social and environmental sustainability can make it an attractive career option to those who “want to make a difference in the world”.

The most striking message came from a young member of the industry who said that people are looking for a sense of engagement within their role, which is often created through a feeling of empowerment, the ability to apply one’s personal values and being given encouragement and scope to develop one’s skills.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

UEIL is in the process of establishing a Task Force onsustainability, with the goal of defining what sustainability really means for the lubricants industry. The Task Forceintend to make a formal proposal of relevant definitions and metrics to the UEIL board of directors in approximately 12 months.

This feels like an important initiative for the whole global lubricant industry, which needs to communicate and educate the social responsibility of lubricantsin terms of energy efficiency (reduction of wasted energy), economic efficiency (reduction of wear) and reduced environmental impact”.

Click below to listen to the full podcast covering these topics and more, and to hear Peter Vickers’ views about the short-term future of the base oils and lubricants market for 2019 – 2020, including the threat of the IMO 2020 fuel regulations and the impact this will have on base oil prices.

VGP update from the EPA

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The United States Environmental protection Agency (EPA) have announced that they will not be reissuing the 2013 VGP until Spring 2019.

In its latest communication, the EPA warns that after the expiration of the current VGP on 18 December no further permits can be issued and recommends ships apply for a permit under existing system before that date. They advise:

For vessels covered by the permit as of December 18, 2018: Coverage will continue. We recommend owners/operators of vessels double-check that their vessels have active Notices of Intent (NOIs) or Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection (PARI), as appropriate, prior to the December 18, 2018 permit expiration date.

You can use the online public search tool available at: https://ofmpub.epa.gov/apex/vgpenoi/f?p=vgp:Search to identify vessel NOI status. Updates to any NOIs submitted prior to December 18, 2018 (e.g., updates to owner/operator information) can still be made after December 18, 2018.

For vessels currently without permit coverage: Because coverage under the VGP cannot be obtained after the permit’s expiration date, EPA strongly encourages owners/operators of eligible vessels currently without permit coverage to seek it prior to December 18, 2018. Such eligible vessels include vessels that are currently under construction or that have not previously operated in US waters. 

For information about how to apply for a VGP and eligibility requirements, visit https://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels-vgp.

Contact the VGP via email at vgp@epa.gov

Peter Vickers Presents at the 3rd North American Industrial Lubricants Congress, Chicago.

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Peter Vickers

On September 19 2018, Peter Vickers was invited to speak at the 3rd North American Industrial Lubricants Congress in Chicago USA.

This years North American congress delved deep into developments in digitalisation and the challenges and opportunities this presents to the industry.

Among the important issues discussed were, current economics of the North American industrial lubricants market, base oil supply and demand dynamics, supporting the growth of sustainable finished lubricants, synthetic lubricants and round-table discussions on insights into the food grade, marine, rail and construction industries.

Peters presentation entitled ‘IMPACT OF REGULATIONS ON MARINE LUBRICANT FORMULATIONS’ explored the environmental regulations, particularly regarding emissions to air and water which, over a ten-year period, have been transforming the shipping industry and impacting marine lubricant suppliers, and aimed to provide clarity on the following topics:

  • The marine industry overview
  • The marine lubricants market overview
  • The 2013 VGP in context
  • CO2 emissions
  • NOx emissions
  • Sox emissions
  • Ballast water environmental concerns
  • What is the VGP and why does it matter?
  • Impacts and consequences of the VGP

The presentation was very exceptionally well received and Peter was voted one of the top-rated speakers of the event. Peters presentation was regarded engaging and delegates commented that it was an absolute pleasure to listen to.

Click here to read a write up of Peters presentation, featured on the Lubes ‘n’ Greases website.

Another Successful Year at SMM

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Another successful year at SMM Hamburg, the world leading trade fair for maritime innovation, with a record number of leads for Vickers Oils.

SMM Hamburg is an important event for Vickers Oils to build our network, strengthen relationships and exchange industry knowledge. Around 50,000 visitors from more than 120 countries attended the trade fair last week and a total of 2,289 exhibitors occupied thirteen halls covering a total of 93,000m2.

Peter Vickers commented, “SMM 2018 was an excellent event and saw a record number of beneficial contacts and potential leads to the stand. It was nice to see such an emphasis on environmental awareness this year with green technology taking centre stage.”

Once again, Vickers Oils occupied an excellent position at the event, in the UK Pavilion, which helped with footfall and visibility. The stand improvements from previous years proved beneficial, providing an open and inviting space for visitors to approach and positioning Vickers Oils as industry leaders.

A special thanks to all who attended for their hard work and long hours at a very busy show.


Peter Vickers with our Greek agent, Alex

Vickers Oils exhibition stand at SMM 2018

The walk up to SMM Hamburg Messe 2018

Hall A1 at SMM 2018



Vickers Oils – ABS EAL report summary

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ABS joint development project with Vickers Oils and Imperial College London examines the application of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants in stern tube bearing installations

ABS, a leading provider of class and technical services to the marine and offshore industries has conducted a study in conjunction with Vickers Oils and Imperial College London into Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EAL).

The study evaluated the properties of EALs used to lubricate stern-tube bearings, against mineral oil-based lubricants, following a spike in the number of failures reported in 2014 soon after the 2013 Vessel General Permit amendment which stipulated that EALs must replace mineral based lubricants.

The findings of the report concluded that there was no evidence that EAL’s were responsible for the failures of stern tube bearings, or that the use of mineral oils would have prevented those failures. The report identified the key properties that should be considered in the selection of EALs, which highlighted the importance of viscosity. ABS stressed the importance of good shaft alignment in single sterntube bearing installations, in light of the trend towards larger, heavier propellers operating at lower RPM.

To read a more detailed article, please click here to read the full report in Marine News magazine

Vickers Oils at SMM 2018

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Vickers Oils are very excited to be once again exhibiting at the SMM maritime exhibition this year in Hamburg from 4 – 7 September. SMM is the world number one trade fair for the maritime industry where leaders and experts from the various sectors gather to showcase maritime innovation and technology in a unique environment. Expected to attract 50,000 visitors from all over the world, SMM will see a record-breaking number of visitors this year.

Cost efficiency improvements and handling the current and future environmental requirements are some of the major challenges facing the shipping industry today.  Vickers Oils, as industry leaders, have significant experience in these areas.  We will be thrilled to discuss these matters with you and present the innovative solutions we have to offer to help meet these challenges.

We look forward to building our network, sharing ideas and exchanging industry knowledge with new and familiar faces. Come and speak to us at our usual location in Hall B1, stand 300.

We would love to keep in touch with you. Click here to follow us on LinkedIn

Vickers Oils at Posidonia 2018

Vickers Oils at Posidonia 2018

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Vickers Oils once again participated at Posidonia in Athens. This picture of our stand was taken just before the opening on the first day and as you can see, reflects the pride that we have in our brand, which has served our customers for over 100 years. This is a major event in our calendar, and we thank all of the visitors who took the time to visit us at Posidonia, and we look forward to seeing you all at SMM in September.

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