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IBIA: ‘Dark fleet’ STS transfers discussed at IMO

Shipping organisations pointed out at MEPC 80 that while there should be no furtive STS operations, distinctions need to be made between legitimate and illicit STS operations.

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The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Thursday (13 July) released an article on concerns raised at IMO meetings including MEPC 80 regarding the increase in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers at sea:

Multiple concerns have been raised at IMO meetings regarding an increase in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers at sea, in particular instances of ships using “dark operations” to hide their whereabouts. The subject was discussed at the IMO’s Legal Committee (LEG 110) in March, and again at the 80th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) in July.

The risks highlighted include that such practices may be used to circumvent sanctions and high insurance costs. From an environmental perspective, if there is a spill, there will be no pollution prevention and the responsible parties may evade liability under relevant liability and compensation regimes. LEG 110 was informed that a fleet of between 300 and 600 tankers, primarily comprised of older ships with poor maintenance, unclear ownership and a severe lack of insurance, was currently operated as a ‘dark fleet’ or ‘shadow fleet’ to circumvent sanctions and high insurance costs.

A document submitted to MEPC 80, MEPC 80/16/4, raised awareness of these issues and proposed a draft Assembly resolution urging Member States and all relevant stakeholders to promote actions to prevent illicit operations of “dark shipping” in the maritime sector.

There was a long discussion on the subject at MEPC 80, during which shipping organisations pointed out that while there should be no furtive STS operations, distinctions need to be made between legitimate and illicit STS operations. As such, care should be taken about the term “going dark” and “dark fleet” as there can be legitimate operational reasons for AIS not working properly, or being switched off due to security concerns. AIS signals have been used by pirates to target tankers.

Following discussion, MEPC 80 agreed to forward the draft Assembly resolution set out MEPC 80/16/4 to the thirty-third session of the Assembly (A 33), together with the comments and views expressed, for further consideration with a view to finalisation and adoption. A 33 meets in late November 2023.

Member States or international organisations that have further comments or proposals in connection to this matter can submit documents to A 33 accordingly.

Related: IMO: Addressing ship-to-ship oil transfers and tankers in the ‘dark fleet’
Related: IBIA: MEPC 80 confirms acceptance for electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: Unni Einemo will move on from IBIA to join UK-based Core Power
Related: IBIA: Historic day as IMO adopts revised GHG Strategy
Related: IBIA puts spotlight on alternative bunker fuels during IMO’s GHG negotiations
Related: Unni Einemo, IBIA Director and IMO Representative to leave IBIA
Related: IBIA and ISO provide key input on bunker fuel quality to IMO meeting
Related: MSC endorses IBIA proposal to clarify new flashpoint regulation

 

Photo credit: International Bunker Industry Association
Published: 17 July, 2023

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Business

MAN Energy Solutions opens largest service hub in Singapore

New facility able to meet demand for repairs, maintenance and training services for MAN Energy Solutions’ alternative-fuel engines, such as two-stroke methanol dual-fuel engines.

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MAN ES MPA

Singapore on Friday (1 March) welcomed the opening of MAN Energy Solutions’ new mixed purpose facility today that will expand their local business activities.

MAN Energy Solutions is one of the global engine makers of alternative-fuel engines, and is driving the maritime energy transition by enabling the use of cleaner fuels in ships around the world.

Located in Tuas, MAN Energy Solutions' EUR 20 mil (SGD30 mil) investment will include a new MAN PrimeServ training academy for customers and employees, a logistics centre to serve as the warehouse for Asia, and a PrimeServ workshop to provide maintenance and repair services, including for MAN Energy Solutions’ alternative-fuel engines.

The new facility will serve as the largest service hub for MAN Energy Solutions’ activities and engagements outside of Europe, and will allow shipowners and ship managers to gain round-the-clock access to technical services for MAN Energy Solutions products such as repairs and maintenance of their alternative-fuel two-stroke engines, reduce turnaround times for ships due to quicker access to spare parts, and providing training for seafarers on the safe operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of all MAN Energy Solutions equipment.

The new facility would also be timely to cater to the demand for repairs, maintenance and training services for MAN Energy Solutions’ alternative-fuel engines, such as the two-stroke methanol dual-fuel engines that are already available and for the two-stroke ammonia dual-fuel engines that are currently in development.

The mixed-purpose facility was launched by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.

SMS Khor said: “MAN Energy Solutions has been a long-time partner for Maritime Singapore since its establishment here in 1977. I am heartened that MAN Energy Solutions has placed a strong vote of confidence in Singapore by setting up its second hub outside of Europe here, setting the stage for collaboration in maritime decarbonisation, digitalisation, and talent development.”

“The expansion of MAN Energy Solutions’ workshop and warehouse activities will provide much needed capacity to support the maintenance of ocean-going vessels that adopt engines fuelled by new marine fuels.”

“MAN Energy Solutions' expanded training academy will also support Singapore's drive to upskill and reskill of our workforce, to build confidence for maritime workers to safely handle new marine fuels. I look forward to many more years of meaningful collaboration, especially in these emerging areas.”

Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO MAN Energy Solutions, said, “With over 9,000 square metres of floor space, Singapore is our largest hub outside of Europe in what is one of the most important maritime centres globally. We intend for this mixed-purpose facility to advance the maritime energy transition locally through education, logistics, and a comprehensive after-sales portfolio. Ultimately, we are ‘moving big things to zero’ and leading our customers towards a multi-fuel, decarbonised future.”

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said, “As the world’s largest bunkering port and major transhipment hub, Singapore is committed to the maritime digitalisation and the green transition. We have been long-time partners with MAN Energy Solutions and have been working closely together in various methanol and ammonia shipping consortiums and also in skills development.”

“MAN Energy Solutions’ new maintenance and training facility here will add deep expertise and experience to the growing and vibrant new fuels ecosystem here and also upskilling of our maritime workforce, especially in the area of new methanol and ammonia engines.”

Nicolas Brabeck, Managing Director, MAN Energy Solutions, Singapore, said: “This new facility represents one of the biggest investments that we have made outside of our product centres within recent years. It forms a key part of our company’s Triple 10+ business strategy that aims for growth through green technologies. In this context, we intend to equip our personnel with the right skillsets to handle the new technologies coming online and drive our business forward. We therefore expect to significantly increase staff numbers on-site to some 400 people by 2027, and look forward to cultivating great relationships with our customers and the various, Singaporean authorities.”

MAN Energy Solutions’ Singapore office is its largest service hub outside Europe, and currently employs 250 staff.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 4 March 2024

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Business

Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union launches upgraded Wavelink Maritime Simulation Centre

Centre includes new dual-fuel engine simulators, offering realistic training scenarios to prepare seafarers for the evolving maritime landscape and the shift to cleaner bunker fuels.

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Singapore Maritime Officers'​ Union launched the newly upgraded Wavelink Maritime Simulation Centre (WMSC), according to Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (29 February).

The SGD 2.75 million facility includes new dual-fuel engine simulators, offering realistic training scenarios to prepare seafarers for the evolving maritime landscape and the shift to cleaner fuels, in line with industry sustainability goals.

The WMSC was unveiled by Minister Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment at SMOU’s seminar titled Advancing Maritime Resilience: No One is Left Behind.

The seminar, focusing on transition and training, aimed to reinforce shared responsibility, empower the maritime workforce through training, and champion sustainability without disadvantaging stakeholders in achieving #netzero emissions by 2050.

MPA's Assistant Chief Executive (Corporate & Strategy) Hoe Soon Tan participated in a panel discussion on "Prioritising a 'Just Transition", addressing strategies to bridge skill gaps and ensure a smooth and equitable transition for all seafarers.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 4 March 2024

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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

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Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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