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MFM bunkering at Singapore port – Who will guard the guards themselves?

CCIC discuss the progression of MFM technology for bunkering at Singapore port with Manifold Times; and possible development of a primary facility for MFM calibration.




Bunker tanker sailing in Singapore port

The use of mass flowmeters (MFM) for bunkering, a concept originally developed through a project spearheaded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) but included various authorities such as the National Metrology Centre (NMC), Weights and Measures Office (WMO), and commercial players in 2009, is a milestone for Singapore’s bunkering sector.

Efforts put forth by the multi-stakeholder Working Group (WG) on Mass Flow Metering under the direction of the Technical Committee (TC) for Bunkering has now resulted in the technology’s fifth year of mandatory operations (from 1 January 2017 for MFO deliveries) for bunkering at the republic.

Continuous digital data captured during the delivery process, open for inspection by authorised parties at any point in time, has introduced the welcomed element of transparency over yesteryear methods of tank sounding – considered a ‘plus’ by shipowners lifting marine fuel at the world’s largest bunkering port.

Today, almost 50 million metric tonnes (mt) of marine fuel flow through MFM systems governed by the Singapore Standard SS 648: 2019 – Code of Practice for Bunker Mass Flow Metering, which forebear TR 48:2015 was found to have improved productivity for bunkering at Singapore port to the tune of savings between SGD 80.6 million to SGD 199.4 million.

Altogether, it seems now is the time for MFM stakeholders to take a backseat and enjoy the fruits of their labour; but is it?

Establishment of a primary calibration facility for bunkering MFMs at the republic

With many MFMs either above or entering their third year of use at Singapore port, Francis Tan, Head of Engineering & Measurement Division, CCIC Singapore, suggests now may be a timely moment for industry stakeholders to explore construction of a primary calibration facility for bunkering MFMs at the republic.

The current industry requirements set by SS 648:2019 (Clause 6.4.3) as required by implementing authority MPA states for bunkering MFMs to be calibrated periodically from the date of approval by MPA, or as required by MPA.

More importantly, the calibration process will need to comply with ISO/IEC 17025 in accordance with SS 648.

However, such primary calibration facilities to ensure bunkering MFMs satisfy the requirement set out in SS 648, Clause 6.2.2 – which calls for the use of the actual medium for calibration – are currently unavailable at Singapore.

“Unlike traditional geared meters, Coriolis-based MFM technology used on Singapore bunker tankers do not use moving mechanical parts per se. Therefore, it required low maintenance, especially during the first few years of use,” explains Mr Tan.

“However, any measurement instrument, especially MFMs in which electronic components form a critical part of the instrument, will still need periodic calibration to maintain assurance of the devices’ integrity to bunker industry stakeholders.

“Re-calibration of current MPA-approved bunkering MFMs, while still in good condition, is required.”

“While the SS648 bunkering standard refers to a technically sound and supported calibration using the primary method, efforts to realise the development of such calibration facilities has not even began.”

He opined that satisfying the requirements per SS 648 which take reference from OIML R117 is perhaps “more important” as it pertains to custody transfer – which is the situation in bunkering.

“Calibration serves to reduce the financial risks to buyers and sellers. Oil majors routinely require their flow meters to be calibrated as frequently as every quarter,” he notes.

“Compared with the large volume and cost of products typically transacted using a bunkering flow meter annually, the cost of calibration is minuscule. In the case of Singapore’s bunkering market with its turnover of USD 40 billion annually, safe guarding and implementation of mandatory calibration on a primary calibration lab is a small price to pay.”

Mr. Tan feels it is timely for Singapore to have a primary MFM calibration facility to support its bunkering industry.

“With targeted support and initiative, such a facility can indeed be realised and Singapore can demonstrate its leadership as the top bunkering port characterised by transparency and fairness,” he believes.

Authorities taking gradual and appropriate steps to ensure MFM performance

Darrick Pang, Managing Director of Metcore International Pte Ltd, an appointed Authorised Verifier (AV) facilitating verification of MFMs using a master mass flow meter as the reference standard, welcomes ideas and developments to support and enhance the measurement integrity and transparency of MFMs.

He believes the authorities are taking gradual and appropriate steps to ensure the performance of the MFMs are verified for their accuracy.

“Collaboration among all stakeholders is the key to success in charting the way forward,” said Mr Pang, citing the recent launch of Technical Reference (TR) 80 : 2020 Meter Verification Using Master Mass Flow Meter as an example.

“Bunkering MFMs have been operating in harsh marine conditions since the implementation of MFMs in Singapore waterfront from 2015 onwards; it is only proper that the MFMs are frequently verified or calibrated,” he states.


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 15 June, 2021

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Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

The group including its inland and marine bunkering units PS Energy Pte Ltd and CNC Petroleum Pte Ltd has underwent rebranding and moved to JTC Summit.





Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

Last mile fuel distribution company PS Energy Group, including its inland and coastal and marine bunkering units, PS Energy Pte Ltd and CNC Petroleum Pte Ltd, has introduced a fresh brand identity learns Manifold Times.

The firm has unveiled its new company logos and branding that reflects its remarkable transformation as a company.

“Over the past few months, we have been working hard to create a new visual identity that truly captures the essence of who we are as a company which we hope will resonate, inspire trust, and build meaningful connections with our customers,” Sean Chua, Managing Director told Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times

“Our new logo embodies the core values and aspirations that have guided us throughout our journey, while incorporating elements that represent our vision and direction for the future. With its circular shape, the new logo depicts an entity in motion and embodies PS Energy Group’s agility, focus on innovation, and accessibility.”

The firm’s updated branding encompasses a comprehensive visual identity system that is now being integrated across all its assets and communication channels, including its inland and marine fleet, website, and social media platforms. 

Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

Besides the new brand identity, the Group has recently moved to a new and improved office space at the JTC Summit in Singapore. The firm said its team spent considerable time and effort in searching for the perfect location that aligned with its vision and values of providing the best service possible to its clients.

Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

“The move represents a significant milestone in our company's journey and marks a new chapter of growth and opportunity. Our new office brings a host of exciting features and amenities that will undoubtedly elevate the overall experience for everyone involved,” according to Sean. 

“From spacious workstations and ergonomic furniture to cutting-edge technology and collaborative spaces, we have designed the new office with both functionality and comfort in mind. We believe that this new workspace will foster even greater creativity, productivity, and collaboration among our team members, enabling us to deliver exceptional results and exceed the expectations of our clients.”

PS Energy Group’s new address is as follows:

8 Jurong Town Hall Road
#24-01 The JTC Summit
Singapore 609434

Related: Interview: PS Energy Group gears up for 2023 with sustainable bunker fuel products and digital 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: 4 October, 2023

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Malaysia: Straits Energy proposes to list oil bunkering and shipping segment on Nasdaq

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the firm announced its intention to spin-off its oil bunkering and shipping related services segment for listing on NASDAQ stock exchange via a public offering.





RESIZED Straits Energy office

Malaysia-listed Straits Energy Resources Berhad on Monday (2 October) announced the company’s intention to spin-off its oil bunkering and shipping related services segment for listing on NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States by way of a registered public offering.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the firm said it intends to undertake a reorganisation of some of its subsidiaries involved in the oil bunkering and shipping related services segment, for the purpose of forming a separate listing group or Spin-Off Group suitable for the listing on NASDAQ.

“It is envisaged that these subsidiaries to be comprised in the Spin-off Group will continue to remain as

subsidiaries of Straits upon the completion of the Proposed Listing,” the company said. 

Straits Energy added it will make a detailed announcement in relation to the proposed listing in due course, once the board of directors has finalised and approved the terms and structure of the exercise. 

It said the listing would enable the Spin-Off Group to gain recognition and corporate stature through the listing status of its own on NASDAQ.

The company added the listing would further enhance its corporate reputation and profile which will be conducive in expanding its customer base whilst allowing the Spin-Off Group to expand and establish its global presence. 

The proposed listing would also enable the Spin-Off Group to gain access to the capital market in the United States for capital raising and to provide the Spin-Off Group with financial flexibility for future expansion and growth.

It will also unlock shareholders' value in the oil bunkering and shipping related services and provide transparent valuation benchmark for the same on NASDAQ, it added. 

Manifold Times previously reported marine fuel logistics firm CBL International Limited (CBL International), an ultimate holding company of Banle International Group Ltd (BVI), a 38%-associate company of Straits Energy Resources Bhd announced it would be listed on Nasdaq. 

Later, Manifold Times did an exclusive interview with Banle Group who shared insights on the successful listing of CBL International Limited, its listing vehicle, on the Nasdaq Capital Market

Related: Malaysia: Straits Energy associate CBL International to be listed on Nasdaq
Related: Exclusive: Banle Group sets sights on expanding bunker supply network with successful IPO on Nasdaq

Photo credit: Straits Energy Resources Berhad
Published: 4 October, 2023

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VPS announces new appointments for key positions

Andrew Morton has been appointed to the role of Managing Director AMEA while Captain Rahul Choudhuri has been appointed to the newly created role of President Strategic Partnerships.





VPS announces new appointments for key positions

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (3 October) announced the appointment of Andrew Morton to the role of Managing Director AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa).

In this role, Andrew will apply his experience and knowledge to lead the delivery of VPS services to these important and growing regions. He joins VPS having spent the last 17 years working in the oil and gas industry, most recently with TotalEnergies in various positions and countries. 

These included technical, commercial, management, mergers and acquisitions and most recently the New Energies space, including renewable energy, biogas and fuels, hydrogen and LNG. He has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and started his career in research and development in the lubricants industry for Fuchs.

Dr. Malcolm Cooper, VPS CEO, stated “We are delighted to welcome Andrew on board as our MD AMEA. His background and experience will be helpful in supporting our customers in these important Regions, particularly in the rapidly developing decarbonisation space.”

Andrew Morton, said: “I am delighted to join VPS and the team and take over the role of Managing Director - Asia, Middle East and Africa. It is a privilege to join the global market leader and to manage a zone where the maritime industry is growing. I look forward to working with the various companies and associations across the industry to help them with their decarbonisation journey.”

VPS also announced that Captain Rahul Choudhuri has been appointed to the newly created role of President Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Rahul will use his network to enhance and further develop relationships with customers and operators from across the shipping ecosystem to help VPS support their decarbonisation journey.

Dr. Malcolm Cooper, VPS CEO, stated “Captain Rahul is well-known across the Maritime sector and he has been the figurehead for VPS Asia and the Middle East for many years. He has been instrumental in many developments within VPS and across the shipping industry, making significant contributions to developments through a wide range of Committees and organisations.”

“His new role will enable him to focus more on our external relationships, which are of growing importance as we aim to support the shipping sector on it’s decarbonisation journey. We in VPS are very proud of Rahul’s achievements to date and we know there will be more to come.”

Rahul, said: “I am looking forward to this new opportunity. This role will allow me to use my experience and close relationships to strengthen, build and develop the industry partnerships needed to deliver new decarbonisation solutions offered by VPS. My work with industry associations allows a greater professional engagement with stakeholders to take the industry forward in challenging times”.

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 4 October, 2023

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