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MBA and MASA sign MoU to boost bunkering and trade activities in Malaysia

05 May 2023

Malaysia Bunkering Association (MBA) on Friday (5 May) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia Shipowners’ Association (MASA) that will promote employment of local vessels and provide more opportunities for Malaysian players in bunkering and trade activities.

The exclusive collaboration, effective for three years, is expected to help contain the outflow of funds by prioritising local bunkering players. It will also address illegal activities in the bunkering and shipping scene. 

The MoU was signed at an event graced by Minister of Transport Anthony Loke Siew Fook, attended by Manifold Times.

Under the MoU, the signatories will share information about their registered members upon request as well as share latest news or regulations pertaining to the Malaysian marine and the International Maritime Organisation. In addition, both MBA and MASA will collaborate to work with relevant authorities to avoid any redundancies in their pursuit of improvement for the shipping and maritime industries.

Malaysia Bunkering Association Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin, said: “We are delighted to have YB Anthony Loke Siew Fook, the Minister of Transport, for witnessing this significant event today. We hope to work closely with the government as we strive to collectively achieve Malaysia’s aspiration to become a major maritime nation.”

“With the continued growth in domestic trade activities, the Malaysian bunkering landscape has a bright future ahead. Hence, the collaboration with MASA is necessary in order to ensure that local vessel owners are the ultimate beneficiaries of the robust future demand. We also hope to jointly contribute to tackling illegal activities affecting the maritime industry.”

Malaysia Shipowners’ Association Chairman Mr. Mohamed Safwan Othman, said: “I am optimistic that this collaboration between MASA and MBA would allow us to jointly develop feasible business opportunities for local players. This is vital in furthering strengthening the local maritime scene, particularly bunkering and shipping services.”

“As an industry body that has been around for more than four decades, MASA can contribute significantly by advising on industry best practices. Our strong and long-built relationship with relevant authorities will also benefit this MASA-MBA collaboration. We hope that through this tie-up, challenges and risks faced by Malaysian shipowners’ can be mitigated for better growth ahead.”

In his opening speech at the event, Mr. Mohamed Safwan Othman said bunkering is one of the important activities in ensuring the shipping industry continues to function optimally.

“This matter was noted in the Review of Maritime Transport 2022 from the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which recorded the value of Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) above USD 1,000 per tonne in the middle of 2022, with an increase of more than 160% from June 2022. This increase is due to increased demand from the industry following the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. 

Seeing the great potential of the local bunkering industry, he urged the government to take proactive steps in ensuring that Malaysia becomes the destination of choice for bunkering to further boost the effectiveness and competitiveness of Malaysian ports.

“With Malaysia’s strategic position on the world’s busiest shipping route, the Malacca Strait, Malaysia has a golden opportunity to grab market share in the region,” he added. 

“Recognising this opportunity, industry players, especially ship owners, need a conducive policy, not only for bunkering, but for all Malaysian flag ship owners who are lagging behind. Until 2022, Malaysia has fallen two steps behind with its fleet size with a record of over 9 million deadweight (dwt) only, compared to Singapore with a record of 130 million dwt, Indonesia with 23 million dwt and Viet Nam which has surpassed Malaysia in 2022 with a record of 12 million.”

For the purpose of implementing the collaboration as provided under the MOU signed today, both MBA and MASA have agreed that the detailed terms and conditions of the collaboration will be determined in the Definitive Agreement.

Established in 2021, MBA is founded by a group of like-minded Malaysian physical bunkering suppliers to improve the standards of bunkering within the Malaysian ports. MBA strives to encourage co-operation within the industry and also organises activities to attract customers to take bunkers in Malaysian ports.

Meanwhile, MASA is the only national industry organisation representing shipowners in Malaysia. Founded in 1976, MASA has a central role to play in the development of the shipping industry in the country, thanks to its strong rapport with relevant government agencies such as the Marine Department and the Maritime Division in the Ministry of Transport.


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 5 May, 2023

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