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Interview: PS Energy Group gears up for 2023 with sustainable bunker fuel products and digital transformation

The group subsidiary’s CNC Petroleum plans to upgrade its 566 mt capacity “Marine Dignity” with a larger capacity barge to cater to market demand; to launch a marine bunkering app to improve transparency and customer service.

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MT photos 13 February 2023 8

In an exclusive interview with Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times, last mile fuel distribution company PS Energy Group recently shared its digitalisation milestones and triumphs of 2022, exciting plans in the pipeline for 2023, its challenges and how the firm overcame them. 

PS Energy Group also took the opportunity to reveal updates on the expansion of its barge fleet and new sustainable bunker fuel products through the firm’s subsidiary, coastal and marine bunkering business, CNC Petroleum.

MT: What company milestones have PS Energy and CNC Petroleum achieved in 2022 and why are these developments significant to the companies?

PS Energy Group has achieved several milestones in 2022. Our digitalisation efforts, with our cloud- based business platform, has been implemented from top to bottom, in both our inland arm, PS Energy and coastal and marine bunkering business, CNC Petroleum. It enabled us not just to sustain our business despite the difficult market conditions but to scale within and outside Singapore. It is integral to the company’s digital fuel distribution services by providing one convenient digital platform for our entire operations including sales, finance, order processing, fuel deliveries, supply tracking and management, and customer services.

Our exponential growth was recognised, with us being bestowed with the Enterprise 50 (E50) award last year, as well as our inclusion in the Top Fastest Growing Companies in 2023 by The Strait Times.

Other remarkable milestones include expanding our fuel offerings into sustainable fuel and the acquisition last year of an additional barge, CNC 5, further strengthening our footprint in the coastal bunkering segment in Singapore.

All these are significant milestones, and we expect them to support and sustain our growth trajectory in the coming years.

MT: How have these developments in 2022 led to the business direction for 2023?

Some of what we have accomplished last year are the fruits brought by executing our multiple-year growth plans started in 2019. Our business direction for this year is to continue executing all these, including our digital transformation, market expansion through strategic acquisitions and internationalisation, and expansion into sustainable fuels.

MT: What is the business direction, in regard to bunkering, for 2023 and why is this the planned route?

The same is happening in our bunkering business, where we continue to execute these growth plans. For example, we are planning to upgrade our 566 mt capacity Marine Dignity with a larger capacity barge to cater to the additional market demand. In terms of our digitalisation strategy, we are launching a marine bunkering app, to improve transparency and our customer service. We have also very recently expanded our sustainable bunker fuel offerings to the coastal and marine market with our MGO B7 and MGO B20 biodiesels.

MT: How long has the company taken to decide on the planned route? What are the challenges and solutions embarking on this path?

We have embarked in digitalising our business as far back as 2014 when we implemented an advanced delivery and management system (ADAMS). In 2019, we accelerated the growth of the company after completing our buyout from NSL. That year saw us joining the inaugural Enterprise Singapore (ESG) Scale-up Programme, which was instrumental for our multiple year growth plans. The steps we did in the last three years helped us counter the upheavals and very difficult market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented oil price volatility brought by the Russia-Ukraine war.

MT: Does the business environment in Singapore promote the path of PS Energy and CNC Petroleum and what are the contributing factors making it so?

The Singapore oil and gas sector is one of the largest in the world and it has a very established industry, ecosystem, and players. We are able to fill a gap in the industry value chain, specifically in the last mile fuel distribution. It was an area that wasn’t served well enough by the major players. That niche cleared the path for our business model. There’s opportunity to scale and the market demands innovation in fuel distribution including digital delivery services. Most recently, in line with the MPA circular to support the use of sustainable fuel in the industry, we have also started to offer sustainable bunker fuels through one of our floating kiosks, the first company in Singapore to do so.

Finally, the financial and continuous support of our anchor bank, UOB, as well as different Singapore government agencies such as the Enterprise Singapore has also helped tremendously in making our business thrive.

MT: In the area of your expertise, what is your bunker industry forecast for 2023?

Compared to the last three years, we see 2023 as a much better year for our business. As we focus more on last mile fuel distribution, we foresee the demand in this sector to be very stable this year. Uncertainties and volatility in the market will continue because of the Russia-Ukraine war and banks will continue to be cautious of the market. However, all these we are able to capitalise on, and actually highlights the advantages of our digitalisation transformation.

Related: CNC Petroleum provides alternative bunker fuel to coastal and marine market with MGO B20
Related: Singapore: PS Energy Group acquires ISCC cert for biodiesel products

 

Photo credit: PS Energy Group
Published: 16 February, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech partners with EPS on electric vessel trials

YGT’s marine electrification business, marinEV, and EPS will perform trials involving the first cargo delivery with an electric vessel and the first crew transfer with an electric vessel in Singapore.

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SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech and EPS forge alliance on electric vessel trials

Yinson GreenTech (YGT), a leading green technology solutions provider, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a global leader in maritime transportation, during Singapore Maritime Week 2024, both parties said in a joint statement on Thursday (18 April). 

This collaboration, spearheaded by YGT’s marine electrification business, marinEV, marks a significant step towards cleaner and more sustainable maritime operations in Singapore, with the following key milestones on the horizon:

Electric vessel deployments

  • First cargo delivery with an electric vessel in the Port of Singapore: marinEV and EPS aim to be at the forefront of maritime history by jointly facilitating the first cargo delivery using an electric vessel within the Port of Singapore. This aligns with both companies’ commitment to environmental responsibility and demonstrates their dedication to creating a net zero world.
  • First crew transfer with an electric vessel in Singapore: Recognising the critical role of crew transfers in maritime operations, marinEV and EPS will collaborate on the first crew transfer conducted by an electric vessel in Singapore. This trial will provide valuable data on the feasibility, efficiency, and safety of electric vessels for crew transportation, paving the way for wider industry adoption.

SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech and EPS forge alliance on electric vessel trials

The Hydromover and Lake Herman

Building upon their commitment to sustainability, marinEV will enter into a collaborative agreement with EPS. This partnership aims to integrate electric vessels into last-mile delivery operations, significantly reducing Scope 3 emissions and contributing to a cleaner shipping industry. By jointly defining ambitious emission reduction goals, marinEV and EPS will work together to create a more sustainable future for maritime transportation.

“At Yinson GreenTech, we believe that collaboration is key to unlocking a cleaner future for our oceans. Our partnership with Eastern Pacific Shipping on these groundbreaking electric vessel deployments in Singapore signifies a major leap forward,” said Jan-Viggo Johansen, Managing Director of marinEV. 

“Together, we are not only making history but also paving the way for a future where clean and efficient transportation solutions become the norm. This is an exciting moment for us, and we are committed to working closely with EPS, our existing partners and other industry leaders to achieve a truly sustainable maritime landscape.

“It is heartening to see like-minded partners in the industry adopt the ‘act now’ approach like us, taking action and exploring innovative solutions on all fronts,” said Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer of EPS.

“This collaboration with Yinson GreenTech not only offers a greener transportation alternative, it also builds on the industry’s collective commitment to accelerate the decarbonisation of shipping. We don’t do things because they are easy. We do it because they are difficult so that we leave no stones unturned in our efforts to decarbonise.”

Related: Yinson GreenTech all-electric crew transfer vessel to undergo sea trials in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

Panel noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed.

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SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

The Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP) held its third annual meeting on 16 April 2024, during the Singapore Maritime Week 2024. 

This year, the Maritime IAP held in-depth discussions on the key developments in the maritime sector, including decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation and cybersecurity. 

Members of the panel who were present included Hiroaki Sakashita, President and CEO, ClassNK, Stephen Fewster, Managing Director, Global Head, Shipping Finance, ING Bank, Nick Brown, CEO, Lloyd’s Register, and Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Partner, Global Finance and Supply Chain Transformation Service Line Leader, IBM.

Established in 2022 by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Maritime IAP aims to seek international perspectives on key long-term trends and developments that will shape the maritime industry. 

It comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance. Local industry and union leaders also joined the meeting to share their perspectives.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

Key Trends and Opportunities for the Maritime Sector

The Maritime IAP highlighted that despite geopolitical uncertainties and supply chain shifts, there were significant opportunities for the global maritime sector in the following areas:

  • Accelerating the green transition towards a low- and zero-carbon future, supported by important enablers such as financing for green shipping;
  • Deepening the utilisation of technology and digitalisation while strengthening cyber resilience; and
  • Training and re-skilling the maritime workforce to take on the new job opportunities of the future.

The Maritime IAP emphasised that Singapore plays an important role in facilitating global trade flows, supporting global maritime decarbonisation, and advancing maritime digitalisation and cyber-resilience. 

Singapore’s position as a trusted and established maritime eco-system could catalyse green financing solutions, unlock the benefits of deeper utilisation of technology and data, and position it as a training hub to develop the skills needed by the future maritime workforce.

Strengthening Maritime Ecosystem Amid Global Shifts and Green Transition

Against the backdrop of global uncertainties, the Maritime IAP highlighted that Singapore could be an important trade and maritime intermediary, given its status as a neutral, trusted, and leading maritime hub. With growing trade to emerging regions as trade flows shifted, the panel believed Singapore would be an important conduit for new trades going forward. The panel further suggested for Singapore to become a trusted maritime technology hub for the development, installation, and accreditation of critical technologies, especially for those fitted onboard ships.

The Maritime IAP noted that amidst the ongoing green transition, there would be competing demands for various low- or zero-carbon fuels (e.g. hydrogen, ammonia, methanol) from other sectors.

The Maritime IAP highlighted the need to draw on a wide range of green financing instruments and investments to catalyse change, address hurdles and accelerate the sector’s green transition. 

The panel also noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed. To address the financing needs of the sector, the panel suggested for maritime stakeholders to pool their needs, while demand aggregation would help smaller companies gain better access to suitable solutions and financing, and also allow financial institutions to better determine and manage the risks involved.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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LNG Bunkering

GLBP submits permit applications to build and operate Galveston LNG bunker terminal

Small scale natural gas liquefaction facility will be the region’s first dedicated LNG bunker terminal to provide clean LNG as bunker fuel.

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Galveston LNG Bunker Port

Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP) recently announced that it filed applications with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) seeking authorization to site, construct and operate the proposed GLBP small scale natural gas liquefaction facility on Shoal Point in Texas City, Texas, in the heart of the Galveston Bay/Greater Houston port complex. 

The GLBP project will be the region’s first dedicated LNG bunker terminal to provide clean LNG as marine fuel.

Galveston LNG Bunker Port has filed key regulatory applications with relevant government agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the Clean Water Act and Rivers & Harbors Act, Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) for the Texas Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Water Quality Certification, and United States Coast Guard (USCG) for Waterway Suitability Assessment (WSA).

The USACE application for the proposed project includes two natural gas liquefaction trains capable of producing approximately 600,000 gallons per day of LNG; two 3-million-gallon full containment LNG storage tanks; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; feed gas pre-treatment facilities; a bunker vessel loading berth and associated marine and loading facilities.

“The Galveston LNG Bunker Port project continues to meet its milestones, and we are very excited to announce that the necessary permitting applications have been submitted,” said Shaun Davison, Chief Development Officer of Pilot LNG. 

“We are confident that we will meet the rigorous requirements of State & Local permitting authorities to ensure that the project is delivered on-time and will meet the ever-growing demand for clean fuel supply in the Galveston Bay, and US Gulf Coast region by the end of 2026.”

Pilot LNG and Seapath Group signed a project development agreement in September of 2023 that provides a framework for the development, technical design, permitting and marketing of the proposed liquefaction project, which is estimated to come online in late 2026. 

The global maritime industry is increasingly adopting LNG as a marine fuel to significantly reduce emissions and meet tightening regulations, including IMO 2020, which came into effect January 1st, 2020.

Joshua Lubarsky, President of Seapath Group, said: “Our experience in developing, building and operating energy infrastructure will help us with this much-needed facility.” Lubarsky continues “This facility is a critical investment into the resilience of the United States’ maritime infrastructure, and upon construction will immediately provide positive environmental and economic impacts in Texas City, Galveston Bay, and the US Gulf Coast.”

Ongoing development of the project is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The final investment decision to proceed with construction is contingent upon completing required commercial agreements, acquiring all necessary permits and approvals, and securing financing commitments.

Related: Galveston LNG Bunker Port secures site in Texas for proposed LNG bunkering facility
Related: Seapath, Pilot LNG launch JV to develop dedicated LNG bunkering facility in US Gulf Coast
Related: Houston: Pilot LNG announces regulatory filing for Galveston LNG Bunker Port
Related: Pilot LNG submits documentation to USCG for proposed LNG Bunker Port at Galveston

Related: Pilot LNG awards Galveston LNG Bunker Port FEED contract to Wison Offshore & Marine

 

Photo credit: Galveston LNG Bunker Port
Published: 19 April 2024

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