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2017: A paradigm shift in Singapore’s bunkering sector

‘MFM is more than just MFM,’ says spokesman of Singapore accredited bunker supplier.

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2017 has been a turning point for the Singapore bunkering industry due to mass flowmeters (MFMs), observes the Executive Director of Singapore accredited bunker supplier Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services (EMF).

'MFM is more than just MFM; it is symbolic of the paradigm shift in bunker: We are moving towards a more transparent era which values traceability and accountability,’ said Choong Zhen Mao at IBIA Annual Convention 2017.

‘At the end of the day a lot of it is down to cost; if you know the cost, then you know what you are doing and in this kind of market you have to ask yourself where are you going to position yourself and what are you going to do as a supplier?

‘Now more than ever, service differentiates you from another supplier and I think over the last few months we have seen a few people who have decided that this market is no longer for them.

‘Of course, some companies cannot fulfil that kind of criteria and have decided that this is not their market anymore and move onto something else or do something different.

‘The ROI [return on investment] for EMF is still making sense for the company.’

He also observed an increasing focus on compliance within the Singapore bunker sector in 2017.

‘This year has been a watershed in terms of enforcement,’

‘We are quite pleased that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has taken a more proactive approach in enforcing the kind of standards that we have.’

To recap, MPA revoked the bunker craft operator licence of Panoil Petroleum in August; it also decided not to renew the bunker supplier licences of Panoil Petroleum and Universal Energy; the latest is the termination of Transocean Oil’s bunker supplier and bunker craft operator licences in November.

This means three, out of Singapore’s top ten bunker suppliers by volume, had licences removed in 2017. The Singapore market officially started MFM bunkering operations for fuel oil this year.

Incorporated in 2000, EMF is a MPA accredited physical bunker supplier. The company currently owns and operates a fleet of 13 bunker tankers, averaging a monthly bunker delivered volume of between 330,000 to 350,000 metric tonnes. It is the seventh largest bunker supplier by volume at Singapore port in 2016.

Photo credit: Freeimages.com/Mark Normand

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Vessel Arrest

Malaysia: MMEA detains tanker for illegal anchoring in East Johor waters

Panama-registered vessel was operated by 17 crew members, aged between 21 to 58 years, from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

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Malaysia: MMEA detains tanker for illegal anchoring in East Johor waters

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Tuesday (28 November) said a Panama-registered tanker has been detained for illegally anchoring in East Johor waters on 27 November.

MMEA Tanjung Sedili Zone acting director Maritime Cmdr Mohd Najib Sam said the tanker was detained by a patrol boat at 11am at 15.8 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Penawar.

The captain of the vessel failed to produce any documents that permission had been obtained to anchor in Malaysian waters. 

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The vessel was operated by 17 crew members, aged between 21 to 58 years, from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

The case will be investigated under Section 491B(1)(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for anchoring without permission. If found guilty, individuals may be fined not exceeding MYR 100,000 or face an imprisonment term of not more than two years, or both.

Manifold Times previously reported law firm Oon & Bazul LLP sharing on steps shipowners should keep in mind before anchoring and conducting STS operations in Malaysian waters to avoid detention.

Related: Oon & Bazul to shipowners: Measures to take before anchoring, conducting STS ops in Malaysian waters

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 29 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

DNV paper outlines bunkering of alternative marine fuels for boxships

Third edition of its paper series focuses on LNG, methanol and ammonia as alternative bunker fuel options for containerships; explores bunkering aspects for LNG and methanol.

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DNV paper outlines bunkering of alternative marine fuels for boxships

Classification society DNV recently released the third edition of its paper series Alternative fuels for containerships, focused on LNG, methanol and ammonia as alternative bunker fuel options for containerships.

In its updated paper series, DNV examined the different alternative marine fuel options and provided an overview of the most important technical and commercial considerations for the containership sector.

It explored the bunkering technology for LNG, bunkering infrastructure for methanol, and availability and infrastructure of ammonia. 

Building on the foundation laid in the second edition, which focused on the most important aspects of methanol as a fuel, this latest third edition delves deeper  – exploring the technical intricacies and commercial considerations associated with adopting methanol as an alternative fuel for containerships.

Furthermore, it provides an overview of crucial aspects related to ammonia and discusses its potential as an alternative fuel for containerships.

Amongst others, the new edition of the paper looks at the following aspects:

  • Technical design considerations for methanol
  • Commercial implications of adopting methanol as an alternative fuel
  • Ammonia's potential as an alternative fuel
  • Availability, infrastructure and ship fuel technology for ammonia
  • Major updates based on the latest IMO GHG strategy decisions at the MEPC 80 meeting

Note: The third edition of DNV’s full paper titled Alternative Fuels for Containerships can be found here.

Related: DNV paper outlines bunkering infrastructure of alternative fuels for boxships

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 29 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

EDF, LR and Arup launch tool scoring ports’ potential to produce and bunker electrofuels

Tool is also applied to three different port scenarios, including ports exploring fuel production and bunkering, ports exploring fuel exports, and ports exploring fuel imports and bunkering.

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EDF, LR and Arup launch tool scoring ports’ potential to produce and bunker electrofuels

Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in collaboration with Arup, on Tuesday (28 November) introduced the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool, a system to help shipping stakeholders align investment decisions that support the maritime energy transition away from fossil fuels.

The tool, which is presented in a preliminary findings report – The Potential of Ports in Developing Sustainable First Movers Initiatives – scores a port’s potential to produce and bunker electrofuels while delivering local environmental and community benefits in alignment with the global temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement.

“Ports can play an important role in kickstarting shipping’s decarbonisation process even before global policies are established,” said Marie Cabbia Hubatova, Director, Global Shipping at Environmental Defense Fund.

“By considering the impact sustainable first mover initiatives can have on port-side communities, climate, environment and economies, resources can be better directed to locations where these initiatives will make the biggest difference.”

With close to two billion people living near coastal zones globally, the role of, and impacts on local port communities must be intentionally considered as the sector decarbonises globally. Ports can play a crucial role in ensuring shipping decarbonisation efforts are done in a way that has positive impacts on port communities.

The preliminary phase of the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool analyses 108 ports in the Indo-Pacific region according to five criteria including land suitability, air quality, renewable energy surplus, economic resilience and ship traffic.

It is also applied to three different port scenarios, including ports exploring fuel production and bunkering, ports exploring fuel exports, and ports exploring fuel imports and bunkering. The combined criteria and scenario evaluation determines which ports have the greatest potential (high potential) for sustainable first mover initiatives to lead to significant emissions reductions and positive impacts in nearby communities, such as improved air quality and economic resilience.

“The transition to clean energy supply for shipping can be achieved only if stakeholders act together. Identifying potential port locations is the first step in this process,” said Dr Carlo Raucci, Consultant at Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub. “This approach sets the base for a regional sustainable transition that considers the impacts on port-side communities and the need to avoid regions in the Global South lagging behind.”

Regions in the Global South are fundamental in driving the decarbonisation of shipping. To make this transition effective, the rate at which different countries adopt and scale up electrofuels must be proportional to the difference in capital resources globally to avoid additional costs being passed on to local communities. Sustainable first mover initiatives can play an important role in making this happen by ensuring the sector’s decarbonisation is inclusive of all regions and by engaging all shipping stakeholders, including port-side communities.

“There’s a huge opportunity for early adopter shipping decarbonisation initiatives to unlock benefits for people and planet – shaping the way for a more equitable transition in the 2030s,” said Mark Button, Associate, Arup. “Our collective approach shows that taking a holistic view of shipping traffic, fuel production potential and port communities could help prioritise action at ports with the greatest near-term potential.”

The tool can be customised according to stakeholders’ needs and goals and is dependent on scenario desirability. The next phase of this work will include the selection and detailed assessment of 10 ports to help better understand local needs and maximise the value offered by sustainable first mover initiatives. 

LR and EDF carried out a joint study on ammonia as shipping fuel, and LR and Arup have collaborated on The Resilience Shift study focused on fuel demand for early adopters in green corridors, ports, and energy systems, amongst many other projects.

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 29 November, 2023

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