Intertek, a leading provider of quality and safety solutions to a wide range of industries worldwide, provided crucial testing and fuel cargo inspection services to support a successful delivery of needed winter fuel supplies to Nome, Alaska.
The first quart of fuel ever delivered during winter to Nome, proudly displayed by Intertek’s David Haynes. In the background on the left is the USCG vessel Healy and on the right the Russian fuel tanker Renda; both at rest in the frozen Arctic Ocean. (Photo: Business Wire)
A rare late season “Storm of the Century” in November 2011 had blocked an important delivery of heating oil and gasoline to Nome, Alaska before the Arctic winter arrived, rendering the ice pack impassable for conventional shipping. By the time the storm passed, Nome was iced-in, and there could be no final autumn fuel delivery.
In order to meet Nome’s urgent fuel needs, a local fuel distributor, Vitus Marine, chartered the Russian ice-class tanker Renda and with help from the US Coast Guard ice-breaker Healy, attempted the first ever winter-delivery of fuel to Nome. On-site fuel quality and quantity inspection was going to be required not only at Nome, but in South Korea and Dutch Harbor, Alaska, during deep winter in the Northern Pacific and the Bering Sea.
Because of Intertek’s local expertise and reputation in the Alaskan fuel industry, Intertek was chosen to provide key inspection and testing services, and consulted with the client to help determine if the fuels intended for delivery were suitable for Nome’s harsh weather conditions. Arrangements were then made for Intertek personnel to attend the loading of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) in South Korea. After the Korean ULSD loading, the ship called on Dutch Harbor, Alaska, a remote Aleutian Island terminal.
Intertek’s inspector attended the loading of gasoline at Dutch Harbor and both cargoes were sampled, with the samples express-shipped to the Los Angeles (Signal Hill) petroleum laboratory for testing. From Dutch Harbor the tanker headed to Nome. The Renda followed the US Coast Guard ice-breaker Healy for the 700 mile trip, the last 300 miles through the Arctic pack-ice. After a week of pushing ahead, the ships arrived at Nome.
The Intertek fuel cargo inspector attended the vessel for determination of delivery quantity for commercial and US Customs purposes, and worked under grueling Arctic weather conditions with temperatures plunging to -35 F, and wind chills significantly lower. Cargo samples of both fuels were tested on-site prior to delivery to determine suitability for the customer, and then successfully delivered to Nome.
Vitus Marine CEO Mark Smith said, “We are pleased Intertek could assist us in both Dutch Harbor and Nome for this critical operation. Intertek was able to accommodate the dynamic schedule and provide rapid fuel testing and gauging results.”
Jay Gutierrez, Executive Vice President of Intertek’s Commodities division, said, “We’re honored to have played an important role in supporting Vitus Marine’s success in getting badly needed fuel to Nome, Alaska. Our Alaskan and international reach, resources and expertise enabled us to provide a comprehensive, multi-national cargo testing and inspection solution. From the tundra to the tropics, we are ready to support our clients.”
Learn more about the Nome, Alaska project fuel delivery project:
Learn more about Intertek Petroleum Cargo Inspection: www.intertek.com/petroleum/testing/cargo/
Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance, certification, and sustainability initiatives, Intertek people are dedicated to adding value to customers' products and processes, supporting their success in the global marketplace. Intertek has the expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through its network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and 30,000 people in over 100 countries around the world. www.intertek.com
About Vitus Marine:
Vitus Marine LLC is a company specializing in meeting the marine transportation and fuel distribution needs of Western Alaska maritime communities. www.vitusmarine.com
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