Intertek brings winter fuel supplies to Alaska
Intertek Analysis Services
Testing and inspection
Testing and fuel cargo inspection services helped support a delivery of winter fuel supplies to Nome
A rare late season storm 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 in the Alaskan fuel industry, the group was chosen to provide 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 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.
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