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MPA: Processing of bunker licenses may resume by H1 2018

01 Dec 2017

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) may be open to processing bunkering licenses by the first half of 2018, suggests its Assistant Director, Bunker Services Department.
‘We have not been issuing any new licenses recently, except for one specific to gasoil, because we want to understand the impact of the mass flowmeter (MFM) on the market first,’ says Md Elfian Harun at IBIA Convention 2017.
‘We are doing a review of the application criteria to make our licensing regime more robust and most likely by the first half of next year [2018] we may start processing applications again.’
Harun, meanwhile, explained the differences between the license termination of Panoil Petroleum and Universal Energy. Panoil Petroleum got its license revoked, while Universal Energy’s license was not renewed.
‘Most bunker license here [in Singapore] is valid for a year so when the MPA revoke a license this means we will come in the middle of your licensing period and say: Stop we will not allow you to complete your license until the end of your term.’
According to Harun, Panoil Petroleum was discovered making modifications to the pipelines on several of its barges; these applications were made after the MFM (between the meter to the vessel manifold) so the MFM system is not able to detect the oil being siphoned out.
‘So that is one of the area where we have strengthened and we advised surveyors on how to prevent such occurrences in the future. We are also making sure to cover such loopholes and provide possible solutions and improve TR 48:2015 to tighten this gap,’ he notes.
Under the bunker licensing accreditation scheme, a supplier is subject to demerit points should they not comply to the bunkering procedures of SS: 600 and TR 48:2017.
‘Universal Energy was involved in a number of deliveries where they didn’t comply with bunkering procedures and all the demerit points chalked up to a point where MPA decided not to renew its license when it was up for renewal,’ says Harun. 

To recap, MPA revoked the bunker craft operator licence of Panoil Petroleum in August; it also decided not to renew the bunker supplier licences of Panoil Petroleum and Universal Energy; the latest is the termination of Transocean Oil’s bunker supplier and bunker craft operator licences in November.

This means three, out of Singapore’s top ten bunker suppliers by volume, had licences removed in 2017. The Singapore market officially started MFM bunkering operations for fuel oil this year.

Image credit: Freeimages.com/Krisztian Hoffer

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