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Bunker industry players back TC’s proposal to Enterprise Singapore

18 Oct 2018

Members of Singapore’s bunkering industry are supporting a proposal submitted by the Technical Committee (TC) for Bunkering, which operates under the Chemical Standards Committee of the Singapore Chemical Industry Council, to Enterprise Singapore.

An Enterprise Singapore spokesperson earlier told Manifold Times the proposal covers a “new standard on quantity, measurement and sampling requirements for transfer of bunker fuel from oil terminals to bunker tankers using Mass Flow Metering.”

Desmond Chong, the general manager of Singapore bunker supplier, tanker owner and operator Sinanju Tankers Holdings opines that the move by the Technical Committee will further Singapore’s standing in international Standards development with far-reaching benefits.

“This standard is a holistic approach which addresses the concerns of the entire bunker supply chain. When implemented in Singapore, it will build upon existing quality management standards to benefit and strengthen the bunker supply chain, which would enhance commercial trust of buying marine fuels at the republic,” says Chong.

Darrick Pang, managing director of Singapore-based marine fuel measurement solutions firm Metcore International with specialist expertise on bunker mass flow metering system (MFM), notes the submission by Singapore’s TC for Bunkering further enhances the current use of MFM for bunkering operations.

“It is timely to have such a standard to build trust in measurement for the entire bunker supply chain,” states Pang.

“This is a strategic move for Singapore, which is well regarded internationally for its measurement standards and focus in further developing this track.

“In preparation for the 2020 sulphur cap regulations, we should take this opportunity to address quality issues too as this is a major concern within the bunker industry.”

Douglas Raitt, the regional consultancy manager at bunker fuel analysis and advisory service firm Lloyd’s Register FOBAS, Singapore says the proposal, if developed into a new standard, will mean added protection for Singapore’s bunker suppliers from contaminated marine fuel.

“At present bunker suppliers have no real meaningful recourse towards cargo providers if off-spec fuel was delivered from terminal to their barges,” he explains.

“Including custody transfer evidence from terminal to barge will result in fairer outcomes in the event of off-spec claims as the claims can be managed and handled back to back by suppliers should the cargo providers/terminal have delivered off-spec fuel to barges.”

Mohamed Abdenbi, business process consultant at MFM equipment manufacturer Endress+Hauser, welcomes the move.

“Extending the use of MFMs to fuel transfers from oil terminals to the bunker barges is the logical next step. This will help the industry achieve fairer trade and enhance transparency along the bunker fuel supply chain,” he shares.

“The MFM systems that are installed onboard barges in Singapore have proven to be accurate, enhanced transparency and helped reduce bunker operation time. The same can be achieved at terminals as long TR48 is the base for the future standard to ensure harmonisation across the supply chain.

“As a manufacturer of Coriolis mass flow metering system, Endress+Hauser has installed a large number of MFM systems at terminals globally. This has led to a drastic increase in efficiency for both loading and the offloading operation, reduced losses as well as demurrage costs. In addition, today’s MFM systems have the means to self-check their performance and alert operator if any measurement drift happens. This is already used in a number of countries to also extend calibration intervals.

“Industry 4.0 and IOT being a drive for Singapore, it’s only appropriate to implement MFM system with embedded intelligent diagnostic and even ability to communicate remotely in a secured way. We welcome such development and are committed to support such initiatives and the industry.”

Simon Neo, the executive director of Singapore-based bunker broking firm Piroj International, says the proposal is the result of an earlier collaboration between various industry organisations.

“Since last year after the implementation of MFM for bunkering, IBIA together with some industry stakeholders such as the Singapore Shipping Association and the TC for Bunkering have been looking into extending the use of MFMs to oil terminals,” says Neo, who is also the regional manager of International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Asia.

“All parties met on several occasions prior to the latest development to discuss this issue and we are happy it is now coming to fruition; this is good news for the industry.

“Besides quantity, we also hope that suppliers can now be allowed to take continuous drip sample at the loading manifold. This will help the industry in many ways going forwards especially when it comes to contamination issues that we have recently.”

Related: Enterprise Singapore: Proposal made to improve terminal to bunker tanker oil transfers
Related: INSIGHT: Review of SS524 could protect bunker suppliers from off-spec issues
Related: INSIGHT: Off-spec issues reveal 'missing piece' of Singapore bunker supply chain


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 18 October, 2018


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