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Consort Bunkers receives “Pearl Khaoyai”, prepares for IMO 2030/2050 with IMO Type 2 bunker tanker orders

Enters newbuilding order in early April for six 6,500 dwt IMO Type 2 bunker tankers capable of delivering conventional marine fuels as well as sustainable green fuels including biofuel and methanol.

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Pearl Khaoyai 1

Singapore-based bunker supplier and logistics services provider Consort Bunkers Pte Ltd on Tuesday (18 April) took delivery of Pearl Khaoyai at Penglai Zhongbai Jinglu Ship Industry Co., Ltd. (Jinglu shipyard) in Shangdong province, China.

The Singapore-flagged 7,999 dwt bunker tanker is the third of seven ‘K’ series newbuild bunker tankers ordered by the company in 2020 and will be supporting marine refuelling operations of Maersk Oil Trading, Mr SK Yeo, Founder of Consort Bunkers, told Manifold Times.

“The last of our ‘K’ series bunker tankers will be upgraded to become an IMO Type 2 chemical tanker for future-proof bunkering operations involving traditional marine fuels and their green alternatives including biofuel and methanol,” shared Mr Yeo.

“We are expecting delivery of this vessel in the first quarter of 2024; Consort Bunkers will be amongst the first Singapore bunker suppliers to operate a newbuild IMO Type 2 bunker tanker for local marine fuel deliveries when this happens.”

Pearl Khaoyai 2

On the occasion, Mr Yeo said Consort Bunkers also placed a newbuilding order at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Nanjing) Co., Ltd. in early April for six 6,500 dwt IMO Type 2 bunker tankers as part of Consort Bunkers’ fleet renewal programme.

The 6,500 dwt newbuilds are also capable of delivering a wide variety of conventional marine fuels as well as sustainable green fuels including biofuel and methanol.

“These six vessels represent our ‘L’ series of bunker tankers that will commence delivery from 2024 to 2025,” he said while stating the latest orders for upgraded IMO Type 2 bunker tankers as necessary for supporting bunkering operations coming IMO 2030.

“Biofuel and methanol - forecasted as amongst likely candidates to assist the shipping industry’s decarbonisation drive towards IMO 2030/2050 - are considered chemicals and have to be transported by chemical tankers outfitted with either stainless steel or coated piping, coated tanks and other features due to safety regulations.

“The decision to support shipping’s decarbonisation led to the construction for a new breed of marine refuelling ships at the Jinling shipyard; it is also aligned with the Maritime Singapore Decarbonisation Blueprint published by the MPA (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore) last year.

“We also note of the MPA introducing a provisional national standard on specifications of marine biofuel (WA 2:2022) which we took into consideration when committing to the latest IMO Type 2 bunker tanker order.”

Moving forward, Mr Yeo shared of Consort Bunkers selling the 2018-built Pearl Mercury and 2019-built Pearl Majestic to respective European and Middle East buyers; both 8,000 dwt vessels are part of seven ‘M’ series sisterships ordered from a Chinese yard in 2016.

“From 2016 to date [in 2023], construction costs for newbuild bunker tankers capable of carrying convention bunker fuels has appreciated between 30-40%,” observed Mr Yeo.

“Our latest exercise [of ‘L’ series newbuilding orders] has shown a further 15-20% premium in construction costs when factoring in current prices of conventional bunker tankers against the new breed of IMO Type 2 marine fuel delivery vessels.”

Consort Bunkers was ranked 18th on MPA’s list of all bunker suppliers ranked by volume in 2022 (versus 20th in 2021).

Related: Singapore: Consort Bunkers welcomes first of seven 7,999 dwt ‘K’ series newbuild bunker tankers to bunkering fleet
RelatedConsort Bunkers acquires five bunker tankers in Q4; orders up to seven more newbuilds from China
RelatedConsort Bunkers takes productivity to new levels with latest fleet expansion
Related: MPA blueprint prepares marine fuels sector for multi-fuel bunkering transition
Related: Singapore: MPA maritime decarbonisation blueprint sets target for bunkering sector
Related: MPA: Singapore bunker tanker fleet expected to run on net zero fuels by 2050
Related: Singapore: MPA develops framework to support biofuel bunker fuel deliveries
Related: Exclusive: Estimated marine fuel sales figures of Singapore top 10 bunker suppliers by volume in 2022

Photo credit: Consort Bunkers
Published: 20 April, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

IUMI: How can liability and compensation regimes adapt to alternative bunker fuels and cargoes?

Existing international liability and compensation regimes do not fully cater to the changes that the use of alternative marine fuels will bring.

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Dangerous cargo

By Tim Howse, Member of the IUMI Legal & Liability Committee and Vice President, Head of Industry Liaison, Gard (UK) Limited

The world economy is transitioning, with industries across the board seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practices. As part of this, there is a huge effort within our industry to look to decarbonise, using alternative fuels such as biofuel, LNG, LPG, ammonia, methanol, and hydrogen.

Until now there has been much focus on carbon emissions and operational risks associated with the use of alternative fuels. This includes increased explosivity, flammability, and corrosivity. An ammonia leak causing an explosion in port could result in personal injuries, not to mention property damage, air, and sea pollution. In addition, alternative fuels may not be compatible with existing onboard systems, increasing the risk of breakdowns and fuel loss resulting in pollution. Apart from these safety concerns, which particularly concern crew, air pollution and other environmental impacts need to be addressed.

However, the green transition also presents us with a separate regulatory challenge, which has received less attention so far. So, whilst carbon emissions and safety concerns are rightly on top of the agenda now, the industry also needs to prioritise the potential barriers in the legal and regulatory frameworks which will come sharply into focus if there is an accident.

If anything, historic maritime disasters like the Torrey Canyon spill in 1967, have taught us that we should look at liability and compensation regimes early and with a degree of realism to ensure society is not caught off-guard. With our combined experience, this is perhaps where the insurance industry can really contribute to the transition.

Currently, existing international liability and compensation regimes do not fully cater to the changes that the use of alternative fuels will bring. For example, an ammonia fuel spill would not fall under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (Bunkers Convention), potentially resulting in a non-uniform approach to jurisdiction and liability. Similarly, an ammonia cargo incident would not fall under the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC). Uncertainties may also exist in the carriage of CO2 as part of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects, which may be treated as a pollutant, with corresponding penalties or fines.

A multitude of questions will arise depending on what happens, where it happens, and the values involved, many of which may end up as barriers for would be claimants. How will such claims be regulated, will there be scope for limitation of liability, and would there be a right of direct action against the insurers? In the absence of a uniform international liability, compensation and limitation framework, shipowners, managers, charterers, individual crew, and the insurers may be at the mercy of local actions. Increased concerns about seafarer criminalisation (even where international conventions exist, ‘wrongful’ criminalisation does still occur) may emerge, creating another disincentive to go to sea.

When being carried as a cargo, the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS), which is not yet in force, may resolve some of these issues for alternative fuels and CO2. However, until HNS comes into force, there will be no international uniformity to liability and compensation for the carriage of alternative fuels and CO2 as cargoes. This creates uncertainties for potential victims and their insurers, who may face increased risks and costs, due to the potential inability of existing regulations to provide protections.

The situation is even less clear in the case of bunkers. The rules for using alternative fuels as bunkers might require a separate protocol to HNS, a protocol to the Bunkers Convention, or a whole new convention specifically for alternative fuels.  Relevant considerations for the appropriate legislative vehicle include states’ preparedness to reopen the Bunkers Convention, the ability to conclude a protocol to HNS before it comes into force, and whether a multi-tier fund structure is needed for alternative fuels as bunkers (perhaps unnecessary because bunkers are usually carried in smaller quantities compared to cargoes).

Until then, what we are left with are the existing international protective funds, designed to respond at the highest levels to pollution claims resulting from an oil spill, without any similar mechanism in place to respond to a spill of alternative fuels, which are themselves so central to a green transition. Somewhat perversely, victims of accidents involving an oil spill may therefore enjoy better protections than victims of an alternative fuels spill.

In summary, while the use of alternative fuels will no doubt help to reduce the industry's carbon footprint, there are safety and practical hurdles to overcome. Stakeholders must also come together to find solutions to complex - and urgent, in relative terms - legal and regulatory challenges.

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Source:  International Union of Marine Insurance
Published: 13 June 2024

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Ammonia

Expert discusses technical considerations of using ammonia as marine fuel

Ammonia as bunker fuel poses significant safety challenges due to its toxicity and flammability, says Senior Marine Surveyor Muammer Akturk.

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Technical considerations of ammonia as marine fuel

Muammer Akturk, a Senior Marine Surveyor specialising in alternative bunker fuels, on Monday (10 June) published an article on technical considerations of using ammonia as a marine fuel in his Alternative Marine Fuels Newsletter.

The article dives into the use of ammonia as a marine fuel, focusing on the safety and technical considerations necessary for its implementation.

Ammonia is recognised for its potential as a zero-carbon fuel, making it an attractive option for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry. However, it poses significant safety challenges due to its toxicity and flammability.

Key points discussed include:

  1. Safety Measures: The importance of stringent design and operational safety measures to prevent ammonia releases and mitigate risks during both normal and emergency conditions is emphasized. This includes the need for gas dispersion analyses and the use of safety systems like gas detectors and alarms
  2. Regulatory Framework: The article reviews the latest regulations and guidelines developed to ensure the safe use of ammonia as a marine fuel. This includes the IACS Unified Requirement H1, which provides a framework for controlling ammonia releases on vessels
  3. Engineering Considerations: Technical aspects such as fuel storage, handling systems, and the role of risk assessments in identifying potential hazards and implementing preventive measures are detailed
  4. Human Factors: The article also considers the human factors approach to safety, emphasizing training and the importance of designing systems that account for human errorOverall, the article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and solutions associated with using ammonia as a marine fuel, highlighting the importance of safety and regulatory compliance in its adoption.

Editor’s note: The full article can be found at the link here.

 

Published: 13 June 2024

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Methanol

Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels revealed a strategic collaboration with Vopak to secure necessary port storage to accommodate green methanol supply in Shanghai, Tianjin and later in Singapore.

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Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels Trading on Tuesday (11 June) announced a strategic collaboration with Royal Vopak Terminals in the key ports of Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang, China. 

The firm said the milestone agreement marked the next phase of methanol supply chain infrastructure expansion for Green Marine Fuels Trading, securing necessary port storage capacity to accommodate projected supply of green methanol from Chinese business partners.  

Green Marine will be undertaking a similar cooperation plan with Vopak Singapore as well. 

Gavin McGrath, Director at Green Marine, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Green Marine Fuels Trading and further underscores our preparedness to supply green methanol to the imminent green transition within the shipping industry.” 

“Our leadership in the global methanol marine fuel sector uniquely positions us to bridge the gap between methanol producers and buyers, with storage and supply infrastructure being a crucial link in the chain.”

“We eagerly anticipate leveraging our expertise in these domains to enrich the Shanghai and Tianjin green port and marine fuel ecosystems.”

Manifold Times previously reported Vopak signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vice Mayor of Tianjin delegation to support the repurposing of Vopak Tianjin's infrastructure for new energies, including green methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, and potentially ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

Vopak said Tianjin Port Group will work closely with Vopak to develop a green methanol bunkering service solution.

Related: Tianjin Port Group and Vopak partner to develop green methanol bunkering service

 

Photo credit: Green Marine Group
Published: 12 June 2024

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