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MPA: Multi-agency exercise to test Singapore’s ferry mishap readiness and response

Highlights included the demonstration of the rescue capabilities of MPA’s newest hybrid diesel-electric patrol craft “MPA Guardian” for specialised rescue ops.

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday (29 August) said it held its annual ferry rescue exercise (FEREX) to test Singapore’s operational readiness in the event of a ferry mishap.

The FEREX was held in conjunction with the annual International Safety at Sea conference held from 30 August to 2 September 2022. 

One of the main highlights of the exercise included the demonstration of the rescue capabilities of MPA’s newest hybrid diesel-electric patrol craft, MPA Guardian

Nine vessels, a helicopter and more than 200 personnel from various agencies and private sector partners were deployed for the seaward exercise off the western coast of Sentosa and landward exercise at HarbourFront Passenger Ferry Terminal (HFPT). These included the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore Police Force (SPF), the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Cruise Centre Pte Ltd, and ferry operator Batam Fast Ferry Pte Ltd.

The exercise was observed by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport, Singapore, together with key personnel from the various government agencies and private sector Partners.

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Exercise scenario

The exercise scenario was based on a collision between a ferry by Batam Fast Ferry and a harbour craft which resulted in a main engine failure and ingress of water onboard the ferry due to hull damage. This led to a precarious situation that necessitated an immediate evacuation of the passengers on board the “stricken” ferry. The captain of the ferry sent out a distress call requesting for immediate help from MPA and initiated onboard evacuation procedures.

Seaward rescue operations

MPA’s Ferry Mishap Contingency Plan was activated to test the agencies’ operational readiness to the incident and various seaward resources were deployed to secure the area of operations and evacuate the passengers. These included three MPA patrol crafts, a Police Coast Guard 5th Generation PT class patrol craft, an RSAF H225M Medium Lift helicopter, an RSN Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel, and a SCDF Heavy Rescue Vessel.

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MPA Guardian provides an edge in rescue operations

Developed in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Agency and Penguin Shipyard International, MPA Guardian is a hybrid diesel-electric patrol craft that is equipped with a comprehensive suite of capabilities which allows specialised rescue operations.

To demonstrate the rescue capabilities of MPA’s newest patrol craft, rescued passengers were transferred onto MPA Guardian to receive simulated medical attention in the vessel’s First Aid Room.

MPA Guardian is equipped with a command operations room to manage rescue operations, a Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat that can be deployed within 10 minutes to conduct shallow water rescue missions, and a 10-metre wide deck that is able to facilitate drone and heli evacuation operations.

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To demonstrate MPA Guardian’s heli evacuation capabilities and crew readiness, RSAF deployed their H225M helicopter to heli winch a “critically injured” dummy passenger from the vessel.

Harnessing drone technology

This year’s exercise also saw the deployment of unmanned aerial drones from MPA’s patrol crafts for aerial surveillance and remote monitoring with “live” feed to MPA Guardian’s command operations room to enhance situational awareness and incident management response.

Landward rescue operations

The readiness of the landward rescue operation was also tested in this year’s exercise. Medical personnel and triage facilities by SCDF and MOH were deployed at HPFT to manage and treat injured passengers prior to hospital conveyance. SPF and ICA officers were also deployed to provide security coverage and immigration clearance as part of the rescue efforts.

“With the resumption of regional ferry services that have been disrupted by COVID-19, it is important for us to resume both the seaward and landward rescue components of the exercise to test and enhance the operational readiness and contingency preparedness of government agencies and private sector partners in dealing with such mishaps,” said Capt Daknash Ganasen, Senior Director of Operations and Marine Services, MPA. 

“It also gives us the opportunity to deploy new rescue capabilities and technologies, while raising public awareness on how passengers are safeguarded and cared for during a ferry rescue operation.”

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 30 August, 2022

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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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