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MPA: Ammonia bunkering trial at Singapore port before end-2023 ‘not realistic’

‘The timeline before end-2023 is not realistic and should not prejudge the outcomes of the EOI, as well as further assessments and standards development by MPA and the relevant agencies,’ says MPA.

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday (1 May) released a statement in response to Singapore’s readiness to conduct ship-to-ship transfer of ammonia following a recent announcement on an ammonia bunkering safety study: 

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) welcomes studies, pilots and collaborations that contribute to the maritime sector’s decarbonisation efforts. These efforts must, however, be accompanied by thorough validation of the studies, calibration of models to assess the impact of incidents (such as through dynamic near and far field modelling and validation of mitigation measures) and rigorous procedures to ensure the safety of the port, port community and ship crew.

Pilots and trials involving the bunkering of new low and zero-emission fuels require comprehensive preparations, including the development of new safety procedures and draft bunkering standards, thorough end-to-end operational and other risk assessments, safety audits of bunkering and receiving vessels, development of 24/7 operational models, emergency procedures, updating the training and equipping of the ships’ crews involved, among others.

Such preparations are currently underway for the conduct of the first methanol bunkering operation in the port of Singapore. Over 80 participants, including 28 agencies, research institutes, associations and international bodies participated in table-top exercises on 26 April 2023 to discuss risk management and responses for methanol fuel bunkering. Ground deployment exercises and further training will be conducted before operations start in Q3 2023.

On 5 Dec 2022, MPA and the Energy Market Authority of Singapore (EMA) launched an Expression of Interest (EOI) to build, own and operate low or zero-carbon hydrogen and ammonia bunkering solutions. The EOI will enable Singapore to assess the viability of such projects, and support the development of safety standards, regulations and the ecosystem needed to support ammonia bunkering. The closing date for submissions was 30 Apr 2023, and MPA and EMA will thoroughly review the proposals received.

There were recent media posts and reports suggesting that Singapore was ready to conduct the first transfer of ammonia in Singapore’s port waters before end-2023. These articles also highlighted that “the risk identified for conducting (ammonia-related) pilots in the Port of Singapore were found to be low or mitigable, thus paving the way for a pilot project to take place at three identified sites”. These views do not represent the assessment of MPA and other government agencies – the timeline before end-2023 is not realistic and should not prejudge the outcomes of the EOI, as well as further assessments and standards development by MPA and the relevant agencies.

On 27 April 2023 during the Singapore Maritime Week, various ammonia-related studies such as by Vopak, the Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD) and A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing were presented. For instance, MESD’s report titled “Ammonia as a Marine Fuel Bunkering, Safety and Release Simulations” provided an overview of the risks involved in handling ammonia as a bunker fuel, and the presentation highlighted that more dispersion and release studies are needed to better understand the impact of a release under various environmental conditions and scenarios, and that available mitigation and response measures will require further work.

MPA is committed to decarbonising the maritime sector and international shipping, and looks forward to working with partners to advance this effort in a safe, secure and sustainable manner. We remain open to the use of different alternative fuels which can reduce the maritime industry’s carbon emissions.

Related: Completed safety study paves way for first ammonia bunkering pilot in Singapore
Related: SMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: Singapore calls for proposals to develop hydrogen, ammonia bunkering solutions

 

Photo credit: Justin Lim on Unsplash
Published: 3 May, 2023

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Methanol

VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.

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Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor

 

Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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Methanol

Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, Transmar and Orascom Construction will develop a green methanol storage and export facility, which will provide bunkering solutions for mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels.

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Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, a facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with container shipping line and terminal operator Transmar and global engineering and construction contractor Orascom Construction for the development of a green methanol storage and export facility. 

AD Ports Group said the facility will aim to supply low-carbon fuel for maritime transport, presenting an opportunity to establish clean alternative energy storage solutions globally.

Green methanol is a synthetic fuel produced renewably and without polluting emissions, and can be produced from green hydrogen. This chemical compound can be used as a low-carbon liquid fuel and is a promising alternative to fossil fuels in areas where decarbonisation is a major challenge.  

Aside from the maritime industry, green methanol can help decarbonise other hard-to-abate industries, including chemical and plastics. 

“The addition of a facility in this area will provide bunkering solutions for those mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels and is aligned with AD Ports Group’s overall decarbonisation strategy and expansion into clean energy liquid bulk storage,” the Group added.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, CEO – Maritime & Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: "By signing this MoU with Orascom Construction who have vast international experience in bulk liquid terminals for Methanol storage, and Transmar, who have decades of expertise in this region and within terminal operations, AD Ports Group and its subsidiaries are taking a significant step towards the sustainable future of energy.”

“This initiative not only aligns with the UAE's decarbonisation goals but also accelerates the energy transition in shipping, positioning us at the forefront of the green hydrogen revolution and enabling us to contribute to global environmental stewardship and economic diversification."

 

Photo credit: AD Ports Group
Published: 29 May 2024

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