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Chairman of Technical Committee for Bunkering explains SS 660, TR 80; and cast an eye to the future

Seah Khen Hee shares with Manifold Times how the new MFM bunkering standards contribute towards enhancing marine refuelling operations at the world’s largest bunkering port.




Seah Khen Hee

The following interview is part of event coverage for the upcoming Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) 2020; where Manifold Times is an official media partner:

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday (7 October) launched SS 660:2020 and TR 80:2020 to support the global adoption of the Coriolis mass flow meter system. Shipping and maritime stakeholders can confidently apply these standards to their respective ports and ecosystem and reap the benefits of bunker quantity assurance and overall operational efficiency.

SS 660:2020 and TR 80:2020 were developed by Singapore's Technical Committee (TC) for Bunkering, which comes under the Chemical Standards Committee (CSC) of the Singapore Standards Council (SSC).

As the national standards body, ESG administers the Singapore standardisation programme through an industry-led SSC. The Standards Development Organisation at Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SDO@SCIC) manages the standards review and development of the CSC and its TCs which include TC for Bunkering.

According to the Chairman of the Technical Committee for Bunkering, both new bunkering standards build upon the success of SS 648:2019 (Code of Practice for Bunker Mass Flow Metering) which earlier took effect at Singapore port on 1 May, 2020.

“With the publication of these new standards and the launch of SS 648 in November 2019, the Technical Committee for Bunkering completes a trinity of MFM bunkering standards that enhances the integrity and trust on bunkering in Singapore,” Seah Khen Hee told Manifold Times.

He was in an interview with the Singapore bunker publication when he explained how SS 660:2020 and TR 80:2020 enhance marine refuelling operations at the world’s largest bunkering port.

SS 660:2020 – Bunker Cargo Delivery from Oil Terminal to Bunker Tanker using a MFM

“SS 660 is a Singapore Standard that specifies how a MFM system is set up and operated for the measurement and custody transfer of bunker cargo from an oil terminal to a bunker tanker, similarly as to how SS 648 governs MFM system setup and operation on bunker tankers,” explains Seah.

“In summary, SS 660 similarly follows the requirements and procedures of SS 648 such as 0.5% expanded measurement uncertainty, requirements for system integrity, metering procedure, and more, but adapted to the oil terminal interface.

“SS 660 offers local bunker players better inventory accounting and management by using a consistent accurate measurement [MFM technology] and custody transfer where the supply chain starts from the terminal and ends with final delivery of fuel to receiving vessels under SS 648.”

A feature of SS 660 is the requirement of having parties collect a representative bunker sample at the manifold of the bunker tanker during custody transfer to promote fair playing field and trade practices – all in the name of enhancing Singapore’s reputation as a bunkering port.

According to Seah, the Working Group appointed by the Technical Committee for Bunkering took about one and a half years, including going through various approval stages to reach a consensus on the requirements, procedures, and a balance of interests among stakeholders for SS 660.

“The development involved representatives and experts in the entire bunker supply chain,” he said.

“This includes terminals, bunker suppliers, bunker tanker operators, bunker surveyors, fuel testing labs, meter vendors, , and local authorities such as the ESG, National Metrology Centre (NMC), and MPA. We also included oil traders for the first time.”

TR 80:2020 – Meter Verification using Master Mass Flow Meter

Perhaps most widely anticipated by bunker suppliers, local bunker tanker owners/operators, and international shipping associations and companies is the introduction of Technical Reference (TR) 80 which governs meter verification using a master MFM to uphold and maintain integrity and trust in MFM bunkering.

Industry players regard the master meter as a “game changer” for the Singapore bunkering sector when officially introduced as it shortens the time and reduces resources required for bunker MFM verification.

Meter verification as prescribed in TR 80 involves the comparison of readings from two MFM units (i.e. duty MFM and master MFM).

“SS 648 and SS 660 spell out the requirements for qualification and performance of the respective duty meter on board the bunker tanker and the terminal for the custody transfer of marine fuel,” notes Seah.

“Meter verification independently checks the duty MFM installed either on the bunker tanker or at the oil terminal to verify the meter performance under stable flow conditions using actual bunker fuel. The meter verification process specified in TR 80 will be undertaken by an authorised party qualified by ESG.”

TR 80 states that a master MFM has to be three times better in terms of specification when compared to duty meters.

For example, a normal duty meter can be certified for commercial use with measurement uncertainty of 0.3% under oil and water calibration; whereas a master MFM has to achieve a measurement uncertainty of 0.1% under water and oil calibration.

Duty meters can continue to be deployed for bunkering operations if the tested unit has an accuracy error of not more than +/- 0.3% when compared to the reading of the master MFM after a meter verification exercise.

The +/- 0.3% error requirement is drawn upon from international guidelines such as OIML R117, and validated using results and findings obtained from a qualified master meter during local trials, informs Seah.

“The Working Group (WG) was appointed by the TC for Bunkering and comprised experts representing all relevant stakeholders, including bunker suppliers, bunker tanker owners/operators, bunker surveyors, fuel testing labs, meter vendors, , oil terminal, ESG, National Metrology Centre (NMC), and MPA,” he adds.

“The WG took about 12 months including going through various approval stages, to come out with TR 80. It is a world-first standard for bunkering and is practically developed from scratch.”

A Technical Reference is a ‘fast tracked’ document when compared to a Singapore Standard.

“TR 80 reflects the consensus reached by the WG based on a balance of interests,” Seah says.

“The typical life span of a Technical Reference is about three years, but we expect to upgrade TR 80 into a Singapore Standard well within this period.”

Seah thinks that these new standards will catalyse new developments, both locally and internationally.

“Locally, with SS 648 and SS660 covering custody transfer at the two key transaction interfaces of the local bunker supply chain, the stage is set for the TC for Bunkering to leverage on these standards and consider a new bunkering standard that applies blockchain technology,” he explained.

“Such a standard will help companies better track bunker quantity and quality as the bunker inventory is moved or transacted along the oil and bunker supply chain. Secured unique bunker data and documents enabled by blockchain technology is a way to promote trust as a basis for business among a wider group of stakeholders including financial institutions.

“Internationally, there is an opportunity for the development of new ISO MFM bunkering standards based on these new standards, much like how TR 48/SS 648 went on the ISO route. ISO 21562 has been published in July 2020 and ISO 22192 is expected to be published by end of the year; both developments of which are led or co-led by Singapore and are based on TR 48/SS 648.”

SIBCON 2020 will be the conference during which delegates will have an opportunity to listen to the speakers on their presentation on bunkering standards, and to address their questions at the Roundtable which follows.

A series of SIBCON 2020 related articles have been earlier written by Manifold Times:

Related: SIBCON 2020: TR 48 reaps annual savings of at least SGD 80 million for bunkering sector
Related: SIBCON 2020: Singapore introduces new MFM bunkering standards SS 660 and TR 80
Related: SIBCON 2020: Powering Fuels of the Future, Driving towards Decarbonisation
Related: SIBCON 2020: Senior Minister highlights ‘quality resilience and sustainability’ for bunkering sector
RelatedInfineum explains: ISO 8217:2017 should be viewed as a ‘minimum performance benchmark’ for VLSFOs
RelatedInterview: Hafnia shares IMO 2020 preparations, promotes transparency for bunkering operations
RelatedVPS: Shipowners face ‘tricky situation’ to balance VLSFO shelf life and wax appearance temperature
RelatedVPS: Big data analysis reveals link between Covid-19 and spike in low flashpoint MGO off-spec cases
RelatedInterview: Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions discusses sector growth, IMO 2020, and future plans
RelatedSIBCON 2020: Evolution to a ‘completely different’ bunkering industry event, says organiser
RelatedSingapore: SIBCON 2020 bunkering event to be hosted virtually


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 7 October, 2020

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HD KSOE receives Lloyd’s Register AiP for ammonia fuel supply system

Fuel supply system addresses the pressing need for sustainable fuel solutions, significantly contributing to efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the global fleet, says LR.





HD KSOE receives LR AiP for ammonia fuel supply system

Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted Approval in Principle (AiP) to HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) for their ammonia fuel supply system, which will be used on ammonia new constructions.

The newly developed ammonia fuel supply system shows complete compatibility with high-efficiency cargo handling systems and ammonia engines.

The approval certifies the fuel supply system against LR’s rigorous risk-based certification (RBC-1) process and marks the successful conclusion of a Joint Development Project (JDP) between LR and HD KSOE, which began in April 2024.

The primary objective of the JDP was to develop and refine the design concept of an ammonia fuel supply system for ammonia-fuelled vessels.

LR said the AiP represents the substantial step that LR and HD KSOE have taken towards pioneering innovative solutions for emission reduction in the maritime industry.

“Ammonia, with its capacity to meet the rising demand for emission reduction solutions, represents a promising alternative fuel for the maritime industry,” it said.

“This fuel supply system addresses the pressing need for sustainable fuel solutions, significantly contributing to efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the global fleet.”  

Young-Doo Kim, Global Technical Support Office Representative for Korea, Lloyd’s Register, said: “This approval in principle represents another significant step for developing the technology required for shipowners and operators' adoption of ammonia, one of the primary candidate fuels for the maritime energy transition.”

“We are pleased to continue our strong working relationship with HD KSOE through this joint project that will provide a valuable solution for ammonia propelled ships.”

Young-jun Nam, Vice Present & COO of HD KSOE, said: “Ammonia is a zero-carbon fuel that is attracting great attention in terms of economics and supply stability. HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering will lead the field of eco-friendly equipment and materials to take the lead in commercialising ammonia in 2025.”


Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 25 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Erik Thun takes delivery of LNG dual-fuel tanker “Thun Vettern”

Vessel, which is the latest contribution to the Vinga-series, has dual-fuel capability, runs on LNG/LBG or gasoil and is fully equipped for shore power connection when available in ports.





Erik Thun takes delivery of LNG dual-fuel tanker “Thun Vettern”

Shipping firm Erik Thun on Monday (24 June) said it has taken delivery of Thun Vettern, a 17,999-dwt vessel, which was built by China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Yangzhou.

The vessel is an upgraded version of the sister Thun Venern. Thun Vettern is the latest contribution to the “Vinga-series”, all trading within the Gothia Tanker Alliance. The Thun Vettern is the newest and latest edition to the Vinga-series and she has ice class 1A. 

The vessels in the Vinga-series all have dual-fuel capability, run on LNG/LBG or gasoil and are fully equipped for shore power connection when available in ports.

They are designed with a battery hybrid solution and several innovative features that reduce fuel and energy consumption, resulting in extensively lowered emissions of CO2, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and hazardous particles. 

The firm said the ships have scored the best Energy Efficiency Design Index or EEDI value in their segment globally, meaning that they are the most energy efficient vessels according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

The Vinga-series is designed for the intense and demanding trade in the North Sea and Scandinavia, well suited to meet the growing European demand for biofuels and renewable feedstocks.

Erik Thun´s close partner Furetank will technically and commercially manage the new vessel which upon delivery will enter into the Gothia Tanker Alliance network.

“Sustainability work has always been and will be a focus ahead for Erik Thun. To take delivery of a resource efficient, top performing product tanker like Thun Vettern, and further deepen our good and long-term co-operation with Furetank is a great example of our vision to be a sustainable Swedish partner over generations,” said Johan Källsson, Managing Director at Erik Thun AB.


Photo credit: Erik Thun
Published: 25 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Wärtsilä on LNG bunker fuel: Expert answers to 17 important questions

Firm gives an expert overview on top questions on LNG bunker fuel including if LNG is a future fuel and what does LNG being a transition fuel means.





RESIZED Chris Pagan

Technology group Wärtsilä on Wednesday (19 June) gave an expert overview on top 17 questions related to LNG bunker fuel in this insight article including if LNG is a future fuel: 

Your choice of fuel affects both your profitability and your vessel’s environmental compliance. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a safe and cost-effective fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants. LNG is playing a key role as a transition fuel and is widely seen as the first step towards decarbonising the maritime industry.

Switching to LNG as fuel for ship propulsion requires investment but can save you fuel costs, increase your profitability and reduce compliance risks. The expert answers to these 17 questions will tell you what you need to know about LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping.

What is LNG?

LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to -162°C (-260°F), turning it into a clear, odourless liquid that is easy to ship and store. LNG is typically 85–95% methane, which contains less carbon than other forms of fossil fuels. It is a compact, efficient form of energy that is ideal for ship propulsion.

What is LNG used for?

LNG is primarily used as a clean-burning energy source. It is used for electricity generation, heating, cooking, and as a transportation fuel. LNG is also used as a raw material for products like fertilisers and plastics.

In the shipping industry, LNG as fuel is used for ship propulsion, auxiliary power generation and other onboard energy needs. LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping has gained wide popularity due to its clean-burning properties and potential to help meet stricter emissions regulations.

What are the sources of LNG as fuel for ships? What is bioLNG?

LNG as fuel for ships is produced from natural gas extracted from underground reserves, including both onshore and offshore gas fields.

BioLNG is LNG produced from biogas, which is generated from organic waste like food scraps, agricultural waste, manure and sewage sludge. BioLNG is considered a renewable fuel and can further reduce the carbon footprint of ships using LNG fuel systems.

 Is LNG just methane?

LNG is primarily methane (typically 85–95%), but it also contains small amounts of ethane, propane and other hydrocarbons. LNG can also contain trace amounts of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The exact composition of LNG may vary depending on the source of the natural gas and the liquefaction process used.

 LNG fuel vs. fuel oil: is LNG better than diesel?

Compared to diesel fuel oil, LNG offers several advantages. LNG produces significantly lower emissions when burned, including:

  • 20–30% less CO2 
  • 15-25% less total GHG
  • 90% less NOx 
  • 99% less SOx 
  • Almost no particulate matter (PM) 

LNG engines are also quieter. 

However, LNG has a lower energy density than diesel, so using LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping will require more fuel and therefore larger fuel tanks to achieve the same range.

 What are the advantages and disadvantages of LNG fuel?

The key advantages of LNG as fuel include reduced emissions and cost competitiveness. There is also an established and continuously growing global network of LNG bunkering facilities.

The disadvantages of using LNG as fuel for ships include the need for specialised equipment and training and the potential for methane slip.

Methane slip is when unburned methane, a potent greenhouse gas, escapes into the atmosphere. Modern dual-fuel engines will minimise this issue. Depending on engine type and load, you can reduce methane slip by up to 65% by upgrading your ship’s existing engines. Over the last 30 years, Wärtsilä has reduced the methane slip from its engines by around 90%.

 Is LNG environmentally friendly?

LNG is cleaner burning than traditional marine fuels, but it is still a fossil fuel. BioLNG, which is LNG produced from organic waste or biomass, can be considered a more sustainable alternative to fossil-based LNG as it has a lower carbon footprint. However, the production and combustion of bioLNG still emit some greenhouse gases. LNG can be seen as a bridging fuel in the transition to alternative fuels like methanol and ammonia, which aren’t yet widely available at scale.

 Is LNG a future fuel?

LNG both is and isn’t a future fuel. It enables lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduces other harmful air pollutants compared to fuel oil, but it is still a fossil fuel. Sustainable future fuels are crucial for maritime decarbonisation, but the current cost, limited availability and insufficient infrastructure are challenging for operators. This gives LNG an important role to play in the shipping industry’s transition to a zero-carbon future.

As more ports develop LNG bunkering infrastructure and more ships are built with LNG fuel systems, the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping is expected to increase. LNG is considered a stepping stone on the path to decarbonisation as the industry moves closer to using true future fuels such as methanol and ammonia.

Note: The full article by Wärtsilä can be found here.


Photo credit: Chris Pagan on Unsplash
Published: 24 June, 2024

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