The U.S. EPA issued updated Vessel General Permit (VGP) regulations in December 2013 to require operators to use environmentally friendly lubricants in all commercial marine vessels longer than 79 feet that operate within three miles of the United States coastline.

Environmentally friendly lubricants are defined as biodegradable, minimally toxic, and nonbioaccumulative. Vessel operators are required to maintain on-board records and submit annual reports documenting VGP compliance. Noncompliance can result in daily fines that could exceed $32,000 per violation. New rules covering smaller vessels and use in ports are also in progress and are likely to pose similar lubricant requirements.

Mineral oil lubricants have long been the preferred products for marine use due to their high performance and hydrolytic stability in demanding applications where it is difficult to avoid contact with water. Mineral oils lubricants, however, are not biodegradable and will need to be replaced at the earliest opportunity to comply with the VGP rules. The industry must find solutions that maintaining performance in marine settings while meeting environmentally friendly standards. Operators have tried to fill the void with lubricants formulated from esters and polyalkylene glycols, but performance limitations such as oxidation stability, hydrolytic stability, and seal compatibility have posed significant challenges.

marine-logosNovaSpec Base Oils and formulated products can meet VGP 2013 requirements and are also recommended for use in ports and other applications where performance and environmental requirements intersect. The durability and performance Novvi formulations provide enable operators to satisfy performance needs and meet environmental requirements.

NovaSpec™ Base Oils

NovaSpec Base Oils are plant-based synthetic oils designed to deliver high performance, while offering major environmental benefits when compared with petroleum-sourced base oils. Ecofriendly advantages include nontoxicity, renewability, and improved biodegradability.

Novvi encourages and supports others’ efforts to formulate new product applications from its revolutionary NovaSpec Base Oils and also offers a wide range of preformulated oils and lubricants.

Learn more about NovaSpec Base Oils ›