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IBIA: IMO sub-committee accepts use of electronic BDNs after long discussion

IBIA reported an IMO sub-committee has agreed that bunker delivery notes are acceptable in either hard copy or digital form providing they meet the relevant requirements of MARPOL Annex VI.





The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Wednesday (3 May) released an article on its observations of the 10th session of Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response, focusing on electronic bunker delivery notes:

IBIA is pleased to report that an IMO sub-committee, which will report to MEPC 80, has agreed that bunker delivery notes (BDNs) are acceptable in either hard copy or digital form providing they meet the relevant requirements of MARPOL Annex VI.

It follows a proposal made to the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response by the UK, IACS and IBIA, which was discussed at length during last week’s 10th session (PPR 10).

Our proposal, contained in document PPR 10/14, was made to give industry certainty and alleviate challenges during port State control (PSC) regarding the acceptability of an electronic BDN. Instances have been reported where this was an issue.

Regulation 18.5 of MARPOL Annex VI requires details of fuel oil intended for combustion purposes to be recorded by means of the BDN which is to contain at least the information in appendix V of MARPOL Annex VI. Regulation 18.6 of MARPOL Annex VI requires that the BDN to be kept on board the ship and to be readily available for inspection at all reasonable times. The regulation does not specify the form (physical hard copy or digital), but BDNs are predominantly saved and presented as a hard copy paper document.

Our proposal was for a Unified Interpretation to clarify that electronic BNDs are also acceptable. This principle was generally supported, but there was a lot of debate about how to move forward with this.

Our proposal for Unified Interpretation also mentioned “taking into account” relevant section of a FAL Circular with guidelines for the use of electronic certificates. This was added to alleviate concerns from some parties about the authenticity of digital BNDs. The reference to the FAL circular was, however, problematic for many delegates and created a long debate about how to avoid references to other IMO circulars or resolutions that could give the impression that the BDN is a certificate, or that an administration must approve the use of electronic BNDs.

At the same time, it was clear concerns about the authenticity of an electronic BND needed to be addressed. Several delegations mentioned the legal importance of BDNs for documentation purposes, and that BDNs will become increasingly important as part of the documentation supporting IMO policies to reduce GHG emissions from ships. Some delegations expressed concerns that developing a unified interpretation might not provide sufficient security and accountability guarantees.

This was debated a length first in plenary at PPR 10 and then in a working group. In the end, it was understood that the unified interpretation was only dealing with the current requirements under regulation 18.5 and 18.6 of MARPOL Annex VI, but should include text about how to ensure electronic BDNs would be tamper-proof.

After discussion in the working group, the delegations who had proposed the unified interpretation (United Kingdom, IBIA, IACS) were tasked with amending the text to address these concerns. We worked late and resolved these concerns by adapting relevant text from the FAL circular, while avoiding any references to ‘circular’ or ‘administration’ that may be misinterpreted. The next day, the working group, and subsequently PPR in plenary, agreed to our amended proposal for a Unified Interpretation.

The Unified Interpretation agreed at PPR 10 will be presented to the Marine Environment Protection Committee for its 80th session in July (MEPC 80) for approval as follows:

Applicability of the requirements for a bunker delivery note 

Regulation 18

Fuel oil availability and quality
2 In the annex to circular MEPC.1/Circ.795/Rev.7, it is proposed to add a new interpretation after paragraph 12.1 as follows:
“12.2 The Bunker Delivery Note (BDN) required by regulation 18.5 is acceptable in either hard copy or electronic format provided it contains at least the information specified in appendix V to MARPOL Annex VI and is retained and made available on board in accordance with regulation 18.6.
In addition, an electronic BDN should be protected from edits, modifications or revisions and authentication be possible by a verification method such as a tracking number, watermark, date and time stamp, QR code, GPS coordinates or other verification methods.”

IBIA is happy with this outcome and hopes MEPC 80 will approve the interpretation so the industry can have confidence in using electronic BDNs. There was talk about sending the proposal to FAL (the IMO’s Facilitation Committee) to amend the FAL Circular to include electronic BDNs, which would have meant a long delay in resolving the issue.

Related: 10th session of IMO Sub-Committee on pollution prevention and response held in London


Photo credit: International Bunker Industry Association
Published: 10 May, 2023

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Singapore: EMA, MPA shortlist two consortia for ammonia power generation and bunkering

Chosen consortia are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, NYK Line and Sumitomo Corporation.





RESIZED bunker tanker singapore

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (25 July) said they have shortlisted two consortia that will proceed to the next round of evaluations of proposals to provide a low- or zero-carbon ammonia solution on Jurong Island for power generation and bunkering. 

The two consortia were selected from a total of six that were earlier shortlisted in 2023 to participate in a restricted Request for Proposal (RFP), following an Expression of Interest (EOI) called in 2022. The bids were assessed based on the technical, safety and commercial aspects of their proposals. 

The two consortium leads are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Sumitomo Corporation. The two consortia will proceed to conduct engineering, safety and emergency response studies for the proposed Project.

At the next phase, we will select one of the two bidders as the lead developer of the project. The lead developer will develop the end-to-end ammonia solution comprising (i) generating 55 to 65 MW of electricity from imported low- or zero-carbon ammonia via direct combustion in a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine; and (ii) facilitating ammonia bunkering at a capacity of at least 0.1 million tons per annum (MTPA), starting with shore-to-ship bunkering followed by ship-to-ship bunkering. 

Given the nascency of the technology and global supply chains, the Government will work closely with the appointed lead developer to implement the Project. We aim to announce the lead developer by Q1 2025.

The project is part of Singapore’s National Hydrogen Strategy launched in 2022, which outlines Singapore’s approach to develop low-carbon hydrogen as a major decarbonisation pathway as part of the nation’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

A key thrust of this strategy is to experiment with the use of advanced hydrogen technologies that are on the cusp of commercial readiness. Ammonia is currently one of the most technologically-ready hydrogen carriers with an established international supply chain for industrial use.

“If successful, the project will position Singapore as one of the first countries in the world to deploy a direct ammonia combustion power plant and support the development of ammonia bunkering for international shipping, EMA and MPA said.

“This will help to unlock the potential of low-carbon ammonia as a low-carbon fuel.”


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 July 2024

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LNG Bunkering

China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

The 14,000 cubic metre ship, “Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang”, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) for Huaihe Energy Holding Group.





China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

China’s river-to-sea LNG bunkering vessel, which was built locally, was named and delivered in Shanghai on Monday (19 July), according to the Shanghai Association of Shipbuilding Industry (SASIC). 

The 14,000 cubic metre (cbm) ship, Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd for Huaihe Energy Holding Group as part of China’s "Gasification of the Yangtze River” project.

The ship is capable of travelling through the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge all year round and has been dubbed a “Customised Yangtze River” LNG refuelling and transportation ship.

The ship is equipped with the B-type LNG containment system independently developed by Hudong-Zhonghua and authorised by a national patent.

According to SASIC, this was the first time such a system has been applied to a domestic LNG  refuelling and transportation ship, marking a major breakthrough in the B-type LNG containment system developed by China with independent intellectual property rights.

Related: China’s first river-sea LNG bunkering ship completes inaugural bunkering operation

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.


Photo credit: Shanghai Shipbuilding Industry Association
Published: 25 July 2024

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Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

“Hafnia Nile” and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged “Ceres I” collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.





Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

Shipowner Hafnia, the operator of Singapore-flagged tanker Hafnia Nile, is in discussion with The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on a safe location to transfer the ship’s cargo, MPA said on Wednesday (24 July). 

They are also discussing towage plans for repairs to be approved by MPA.

Hafnia Nile and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged Ceres I collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.

“An additional tug with deep-sea towing capacity has arrived on site on 23 July 2024, joining four other tugs equipped with oil response and firefighting capabilities,” MPA said. 

In a meeting with MPA on 23 July, Hafnia informed MPA of light oil sheens near Hafnia Nile

“As part of the towage plan, Hafnia will arrange for repairs, containment and clean-up of the assessed localised seepage,” it added.

Reuters reported Hafnia stating that an initial assessment by a team of specialists conducting inspections of damaged areas of the tanker, showed Hafnia Nile's engine room had suffered damage from the fire.

Hafnia also reportedly said a salvage team has boarded the vessel and transferred equipment from one of the attending tugs on site to contain and stop any localised seepage.

Manifold Times previously reported Ceres 1 allegedly leaving the site of the collision as of 20 July and turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) but was believed to be in Malaysian waters.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was able to locate Ceres 1 some 28 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Tioman.

Related: “Ceres 1” goes dark after collision with Singapore-flagged tanker, located by MMEA
Related: MPA: Fire breaks out on two ships near Pedra Branca, search and rescue underway


Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 25 July 2024

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