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Marine Fuels 360: Buy-side of bunkering ecosystem keener in digital adoption then supply-side, observes ZeroNorth

Kenneth Juhls believes a recent MPA initiative for eBDN may serve as a catalyst to accelerate maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation at the republic.

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Marine Fuels 360: Buy-side of bunkering ecosystem keener in digital adoption then supply-side, observes ZeroNorth

Bunker buyers of shipowners are more open towards adopting digital technology in their workflow when compared to bunker suppliers, finds the Managing Director for ZeroNorth Bunker of maritime technology platform ZeroNorth.

Kenneth Juhls was amongst panellists in the Bunker Buyers’ Dialogue session at Marine Fuels 360 on Tuesday (28 November) when he responded to a question on shipping’s next data revolution.

“I don't think the shipping industry and the bunker industry is very mature in the adoption of data solution to be blunt,” he said. “However, as mentioned before, I do see a positive movement.”

Juhls, who has been involved a maritime digitalisation working group attended by all sides of the shipping and bunkering sectors, made some observations.

“In my humble view, the buy-side is more digital prone because they see a clear benefit of transparency as they can buy better. There's a clear business case as they need audit trails to support procurement strategies,” he explained.

“But the supply-side tends to be less prone in adopting digital solutions and the ones who are doing that often develop their systems in house.”

Juhls, meanwhile, believed a recent Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) initiative for electronic bunker delivery note (eBDN) may serve as a catalyst to accelerate maritime digitalisation and decarbonisation at the republic.

“As you all are aware, MPA has made it mandatory for eBDN to be included as part of Singapore’s bunkering ecosystem by end 2024. There is clear value of getting validated and streamlined data processed through internal systems and regulatory authorities,” he noted.

“Decarbonisation, upcoming regulations, and regulatory reporting will also drive companies to digitalise the maritime ecosystem; otherwise, it's going to be a huge burden for everybody.

“The major players who move fast will get a competitive advantage. So, I think you really need to invest either in house or partner up with someone that has critical mass to really help you on that journey.”

Related: Singapore: MPA publishes guidelines for bunker suppliers in preparation of e-BDN launch

Other related: ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier
Other related: Singapore: Golden Island switching to 100% e-BDN operations from 1 December
Other related: Photo essay: e-BDN trial of “One Truth” at Singapore port
Other related: Hong Lam Marine ‘fully supportive’ of e-BDN implementation for Singapore bunkering sector
Other related: Singapore set to become first port in the world to debut electronic bunker delivery notes
Other related: ONE completes e-BDN adoption trial with Shell in Port of Singapore

Photo credit: Informa
Published: 4 December 2023

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ZeroNorth and Singapore-based Alpha Ori Technologies close deal to merge

Firms announced they have received all required regulatory approval for their agreement to join forces and have now integrated under the name ZeroNorth.

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ZeroNorth and Singapore-based Alpha Ori Technologies close deal to merge

Technology company ZeroNorth and Singapore-based digital solutions provider Alpha Ori Technologies on Wednesday (21 February) announced that they have received all required regulatory approval for their agreement to join forces. 

This means that yesterday was day one of the two organisations as a new, integrated business under the name ZeroNorth.

The milestone kicks off an ambitious next phase for the new ZeroNorth, enabling the company to boost its value to the more than 4,500 vessels and 200+ customers that the companies serve. 

Fuelled by AI and human expertise, and by fully integrating Alpha Ori Technologies’ high frequency data and expertise in IoT sensors, ZeroNorth will streamline resource management, predict maintenance, monitor hull performance, optimise voyages, digitalise bunker operations, track and report emissions and enable stronger vessel selection decisions for its customers.

It means that customers will be able to tap into a single source of data that improves their profit and reduces their impact on the planet, in line with their operational goals and strategies. 

More broadly, the milestone further powers up shipping’s digital transformation, and creates a leading maritime optimisation company. It powers up ZeroNorth’s ambition to bring about a greener global trade ecosystem by speeding up the company’s data flywheel, meaning that stronger solutions and optimisation recommendations are made over time. The deal will create a beacon of empowerment for the industry, improving decision-making on a wide scale across the value chain. 

The company’s management team will continue to be led by Søren Meyer in his role as Chief Executive Officer. 

The joint business will remain an independent company with robust financial backing and heritage from top industry leaders, leveraging their deep shipping knowledge to deliver transformative solutions that positively impact the sector.

The company will be headquartered in Copenhagen with 12 global offices. 

Søren Meyer, CEO, ZeroNorth, said: ”Today marks the next bold step for a new ZeroNorth. The combined company will have the size to accelerate the impact on the shipping and maritime value chain.”

“It is a statement of intent to the market, underlining the power and potential of our partnership and platform to support customers’ economic and environmental strategic goals. We are excited about enabling our customers in the transformation of the global fleet.”

Bala Sankaran, Co-CEO Alpha Ori Technologies, said: “I’m proud to have founded a company that delivers value to our customers and brings technology and data to the forefront in making global trade green. I celebrate the new ZeroNorth and its potential to accelerate the green transition for our customers, the industry, and the planet.”

ZeroNorth has already been demonstrating its impact on the industry by transparently sharing the CO2 savings generated by its platform. Since 2022, the company’s technology has prevented more than 1.4m tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere; an impact statement that will only increase as a result of today’s news.

Related: Vitol chooses ZeroNorth e-BDN solution in Singapore
Related: ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier

 

Photo credit: Alpha Ori Technologies
Published: 22 February, 2024

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DNV FuelBoss coverage expands to include conventional bunker fuels, whitelisting by MPA in process

Development to introduce e-BDN equivalent systems for Singapore’s bunkering sector will likely result in about USD 50 million in savings when considering the annual bunker volume at the republic.

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Classification society DNV’s digital bunkering delivery platform FuelBoss has recently expanded operations to include conventional bunker fuels, learned Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

To date, the independent platform has started facilitating conventional marine fuel deliveries in Europe and is in the process of being whitelisted by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The Port of Singapore, under the purview of MPA, is planning to make digital bunkering a mandatory requirement by end of 2024 through the introduction of e-BDNs within marine fuel transactions.

The development to introduce e-BDN equivalent systems to boost efficiency and transparency for Singapore’s bunkering sector will likely result in savings of USD 1 for every metric tonne of bunker fuel, or about USD 50 million when considering the annual bunker volume at the republic, believes Martin Wold, Head of FuelBoss at DNV.

“FuelBoss acts as an independent, one-stop shop for digital delivery. With FuelBoss and DNV, our customers can be sure they get a future proof solution and trusted partner in terms of handling all types of marine fuels and managing the energy transition by a truly independent service provider,” said Wold.

“We know by experience that new fuels bring additional operational and commercial complexity along with new requirements along the supply chain. Flexibility and scalability are key in solving these requirements, which is built into the very core of our platform.

“Many people ask what the value and return on investment is for digitalisation, and we at FuelBoss tell them it is immediate.

“The value of digitalisation far exceeds the fees of being charged on the systems and in FuelBoss’ case we already have multiple studies proving bunker suppliers can save roughly USD 1 pmt (per metric tonne) for every delivery.

“This is mainly due to increased utilisation of bunker tankers from time saved through the elimination of manual data entry, reduced cost of capital from timely and verifiable documentation, and more time-efficient back-office processing.”

FuelBoss operational page

Overcoming digital pain points

The introduction of e-BDN will result in the bunkering industry adopting to new ways of working. Disruption, however, could be kept to a minimum with the right solution, according to Wold.

“Introducing new ways of working is always challenging. Hence, what is so important when driving digitalisation is having the user in mind to make life onboard bunker vessels easier,” he explains, highlighting the user-friendliness and intuitiveness of FuelBoss.

Wold notes user feedback has shown the solution requires minimal training – just a 30-minute introduction before actual implementation (for bunker crew and receiving vessel).

“This is why we put a lot of effort into having FuelBoss mirror the behaviour of using apps on a phone to complete everyday tasks [i.e. ordering food, transportation] so as to build a smooth user experience.”

Data integration – A common void of bunker suppliers

Experience from speaking with several bunker suppliers, meanwhile, has taught Wold of a common void typically found in bunker suppliers. This is where the importance of engaging a solution with good data integration for enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites come into play.

“From what we have seen almost every supplier has a gap in their IT system set-ups,” he shares.

“On the front end, they have good systems for quotations, enquiries, order confirmations and so on. They also have good systems in the back end for handling invoicing, finance, and risk management.

“However, there is always a gap in the middle for the bunker delivery phase. Lacking digital systems, suppliers use tools like spreadsheets, PDFs and pen and paper; this is the gap FuelBoss fills – to link the front and back ends of a bunker transaction together.”

MFM on bunker tanker

FuelBoss and Veracity link up

Speaking of integration, Wold points out that eBDNs, and their corresponding emissions values, can be further linked between FuelBoss and DNV’s Veracity –  an independent industry platform tracking operational vessel data (OVD) of over 35,000 vessels – to enhance overall value proposition for bunker suppliers to clients.

“The marine fuel delivered by suppliers can be supplemented with data points on carbon intensity and emission certificates,” he states.

“These data points will be important for emissions reporting, and it makes sense to integrate them into Veracity to enable the full automation that we see many shipowners are looking for.

“Bunker suppliers using FuelBoss can actually help enable that for their customers.”

Security and trust – Core values of DNV

Moving forward, Wold notes that standardisation and cyber security are important values for achieving robust digital ecosystems.

“Security is a top priority of DNV. We are one of the largest providers of cyber security services within Europe and we are leveraging inhouse expertise for FuelBoss,” he says.

“Most importantly, DNV is an independent classification society trusted for 160 years. Our core value resonates well with the direction the bunker industry is now taking, where digitalisation is one of first steps towards increased transparency and accountability.”

To date, FuelBoss has completed more than 2,500 liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker deliveries across Europe, US and Asia, and has recently expanded operations to include conventional fuels.

DNV has since partnered with a local player in Singapore to adapt and roll out FuelBoss on board their bunker vessel. Bunkering trials using the digital tool are expected to take place soon.

“The expansion of FuelBoss to cover all marine fuels comes at a timely juncture ahead of MPA’s mandate for e-BDNs by the end of 2024,” explains Wold.

“With a proven track record for FuelBoss in other regions, we are both eager and humble to work with and learn from the stakeholders in Singapore, to reap the benefits of digitalisation and support the transition towards a multi-fuel future.

Related: FuelBoss paves way into Singapore’s LNG and future marine fuels bunkering sector
Related: Singapore: DNV and Pavilion Energy partner to bring fully digital LNG bunkering
Related: Claritecs, Teqplay, DNV/FuelBoss: Bunkering cost reductions possible through digital technology and collaboration
Related: DNV GL: FuelBoss pushes digitalization of bunkering services
Related: DNV GL launches ‘FuelBoss’ – an integrated hub for LNG Bunkering

 

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 22 February 2024

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Glander to provide Asyad Shipping with AI-driven bunkering solutions

Signing ceremony between both parties officially kickstarted three projects including an AI-based propulsion system, a digitalised bunker procurement solution, and comprehensive bunker management.

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Glander to provide Asyad Shipping with AI-driven bunkering solutions

Glander International Bunkering and Asyad Shipping on Tuesday (20 February) announced a multi-fold agreement, signed this month by Carsten Ladekjær, CEO of Glander International Bunkering and Imad Said Al Khadouri, CCO of Asyad Shipping.

The signing ceremony symbolises collaborative efforts between the two companies, and officially kickstarted three projects including an AI-based propulsion system, a digitalised bunker procurement solution, and comprehensive bunker management.

Key Account Manager of Glander International Bunkering, Dimitris Mertikas, said: “We are especially pleased to work with Asyad Shipping in this pivotal move to drive sustainability, innovation and digitalization.”

“Fuel management is a critical component for any shipping company, which is why we are keen to help our clients optimise their voyages and set new benchmarks.”

This includes the integration of AI technology onboard Asyad Shipping’s fleet of VLCCs.

CEO Carsten Ladekjær, said: “This AI initiative reduces a vessel’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which drives sustainability efforts towards the Oman Vision 2040. It also aligns with the IMO target to reduce carbon emissions by up to 40% by 2030.”

“Asyad Shipping’s commitment to invest in carbon emission reduction will be recognised by their business partners and serve as an example in both the Middle East and the shipping industry.”

The data-driven concept continuously monitors performance, utilising algorithms to optimise fuel consumption and ensure efficient propulsion in varying conditions. This ultimately guarantees operational efficiency in addition to reducing emissions and cost.

In a separate announcement recently, Arsyad Shipping said it signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Glander International Bunkering, to provide services for supplying various types of bunker fuel to the Asyad fleet in various international ports.

“The agreement comes in line with Arsyad Group’s strategy to strengthen its global reach, offering diverse shipping solutions through its 85 vessel fleet connected to over 120 ports in 57 countries,” it said in a brief social media post. 

 

Photo credit: Glander International Bunkering
Published: 21 February, 2024

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