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Exclusive: Consort Bunkers enhances company policies after internal investigations of “Pearl Melody” incident

‘Though it did introduce temporary commercial and operational disruptions, we took a constructive view of the situation and chose to use this event as a learning opportunity,’ shares a Consort Bunkers spokesperson.




P.Melody Case Photo 1

The Pearl Melody incident has given Singapore-based bunker supplier and logistics services provider Consort Bunkers Pte Ltd an opportunity to enhance company compliance measures based on practical experience, learns Manifold Times.

In June, the Singapore bunkering publication reported an unauthorised ship-to-ship (STS) incident taking place between a foreign vessel and the bunker tanker Pearl Melody.

“It was the first time such an incident occurred to our company,” shared Marvin Por, representative of the Consort Bunkers internal investigation committee.

“Though it did introduce temporary commercial and operational disruptions, we took a constructive view of the situation and chose to use this event as a learning opportunity.”

An internal investigation committee backed by external surveyors and mass flowmeter vendor representatives was rapidly formed to conduct checks on any suspected modification or structural amendments to the pipelines and MFM of the Pearl Melody, upon learning of the incident.

A first respondence team consisting of company management was further established to provide periodic updates to business partners to ensure continuation of business integrity and confidence – resulting in Consort Bunkers not suffering any major loss of business/ business partners.

“We expected and were prepared to embrace the negative media impact; right from the onset, we have cooperated and remained transparent towards media and various authorities throughout this whole incident,” stated Por.

“Since the beginning, we have not ruled out any suspicious collaboration between our crew and the receiving vessel [Apphia 9] and have assisted with the investigative effort of the authorities.

“Moving forward, we believe that the interaction and rapport between our seafarers and the shore staff can be improved. We learnt from our investigation that the crew failed to report [the incident] mainly due to fear of retaliation and stigmatization onboard. There is a lack of understanding from the crew that any reporting obligation will be supported and protected by the management.”

Amongst additional findings made by the investigation committee was the lack of clarity on the role of the single point contact (i.e. Designated Person Ashore, DPA) as the bunker tanker crew was unaware of who to report to when such an incident happened, according to the spokesperson.

“Everyone assumed that the DPA hotline was meant for physical accident (i.e. collision or oil spill) and were unaware the hotline can also be used for whistleblowing purposes. This point has been re-educated and emphasised during crew trainings,” he notes.

“Moving forward, the internal investigation committee has proposed and implemented various corrective and improvement actions, amongst others, across the Consort Bunkers fleet.

“These include increased ship visits, workshop training for crew and relevant contractors (i.e. cargo officers) on basic legal, compliance and ethics, CCTV installation on our barges, while implementing a ‘speak-up’ approach and alternative mode of private communication with the DPA for whistleblowing purposes.”

Manifold Times reported the former cargo officer of Pearl Melody pleading guilty over a charge under Section 408 Penal Code (Cap 224, Rev Ed 2008), known as Criminal breach of trust by employees, at the State Courts of Singapore on Monday (25 October).

P.Melody Case Photo 2

Related: Ex-Cargo Officer of “Pearl Melody” pleads guilty over illegal STS transfer incident with “Apphia 9”
Related: “Apphia 9” crew in jail over theft of bunker fuel from Consort Bunkers’ “Pearl Melody”
Related: Consort Bunkers confirms ‘Pearl Melody’ in alleged unauthorised STS incident


Published: 29 October, 2021

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GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the “TIHAMA”, a 19,870 TEU container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd in final trial; marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022.





GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Thursday (18 July) said it has successfully completed its final supply chain trial for biofuel blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). 

This marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022 as part of a larger pilot to develop a framework to provide quality, quantity and GHG abatement assurances for drop-in fuels.

In this final trial, bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the TIHAMA, a 19,870 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd.

The biofuel component used is certified to the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) standard – a multistakeholder certification scheme for biobased materials. The biofuel component comprised neat Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) produced from food waste.

Authentix, a tracer solutions provider, supplied and dosed the FAME with an organic-based tracer at the storage terminal outside the Netherlands. The dosed FAME was then transported to the Port of Rotterdam for blending with VLSFO to achieve a B30 blend, before the blend was bunkered onboard the TIHAMA.

Similar to previous trials, GCMD engaged fuel testing company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) to witness the operations at all stages – from biofuel cargo transfer to bunkering. VPS also collected and conducted extensive laboratory tests on samples of the biofuel and biofuel blend collected at pre-determined points along the supply chain to assess quality per Standards EN 14214 and ISO 8217.

With well-to-wake emissions of 13.74 gCO2e/MJ, the neat FAME presented a 85.4% emissions reduction compared to the emissions of the fossil marine fuel. The reduced emissions complies with the MEPC 80, which requires a minimum emissions reduction of 65% in order for biofuels to be classified as sustainable.

GCMD and Hapag-Lloyd determined that consumption of the 4,500 MT B30 blend of FAME and VLSFO resulted in 27.9% emissions reduction compared to sailing on VLSFO.

A newly developed tracer deployed with this supply chain

GCMD collaborated with Authentix to develop and deploy a new organic-based tracer to authenticate the origin and verify the amount of FAME present in the blend. The proprietary tracer blended homogeneously with FAME and was detected at expected concentrations at all sampling points along the supply chain.

This trial marks the first deployment of this tracer in a marine fuel supply chain. Previously, similar tracers were used to authenticate and quantify biofuels in road transport and LPG supply chains.

Development of a comprehensive biofuels assurance framework underway

With the completion of this trial, GCMD has deployed a diverse range of tracer technologies, including synthetic DNA and element-based tracers, in addition to the organic-based tracer used in this trial. The trials have also included the development of a chemical fingerprinting methodology and the evaluation of lock-and-seal and automatic identification systems (AIS) as additional solutions to ensure the integrity of the biofuels supply chain.

Learnings on tracer limitations and benefits will be incorporated into a framework that recommends appropriate use to ensure consistent and robust performance. This effort will complement existing ISCC by providing additional supply chain assurance through physical traceability.

The insights from these trials will be shared in a series of reports covering issues, such as traceability, biofuel degradation, supply chain optimisation and abatement costs. These findings will culminate in a comprehensive assurance framework to provide guidance on biofuels use, slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2024.


Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 19 July 2024

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MPA, ITOCHU and partners sign MoU on ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers study

As a government agency, MPA,will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations, says ClassNK.





RESIZED venti views

Classification society ClassNK on Thursday (18 July) said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd., and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) regarding a joint study for the design and safety specifications of ammonia-fuelled ships which are under development by ITOCHU and partners.

“The discussion for a specification of ammonia-fuelled ships with a governmental body related to their operation is essential for a social implementation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK said. 

“As one of parties of the MoU, MPA, a government agency overseeing the world’s busiest bunkering hub, will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations.”

The MoU is based on the premise that 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers will be built by Nihon Shipyard with an ammonia dual-fuelled engine.

“The necessary clarifications of the specification for the ammonia-fueled ship to carry out ammonia bunkering in Singapore will be conducted among parties of this MoU, for the commercialisation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK added.


Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 19 July 2024

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“K” Line to use biofuel on three Gram Car Carriers-chartered vessels in Singapore

Biofuel will be supplied to the sister vessels “Viking Ocean”, “Viking Diamond” and “Viking Coral” while bunkering in Singapore, says Gram Car Carriers.





“K” Line to use biofuel on three Gram Car Carriers-chartered vessels in Singapore

Norwegian transportation firm Gram Car Carriers (GCC) on Thursday (18 July) said Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” LINE) will use biofuel on three vessels chartered from GCC from July onwards. 

“The biofuel will be supplied to the sister vessels Viking Ocean, Viking Diamond and Viking Coral while bunkering in Singapore, an Asian hub for marine biofuels,” GCC said on its social media. 

“The use of biofuel is a key environmental initiative to reduce emissions across the entire value chain (well-to-exhaust) and an effective way of transitioning to low-carbon marine fuels amid globally tightening environmental regulations.”

“We support the green mobility shift. This means that GCC commit to supporting the transition of both vehicles and their logistic chain towards a zero-emission future in close cooperation with leading customers such as K-Line,” said Georg A. Whist, CEO of GCC.


Photo credit: Gram Car Carriers
Published: 19 July 2024

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