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SIBCON 2020: Evolution to a ‘completely different’ bunkering industry event, says organiser

Sukumar Verma, Managing Director at Informa Connect Singapore, explains how the world’s largest bunkering event will be virtually carried out between 6 to 8 October 2020.




Sukumar MT v2

The 21st edition of Singapore International Bunkering Conference, fondly known as SIBCON by peers in the marine fuels sector, is scheduled to take place between 6 to 8 October 2020 after a recent confirmation by long-time organisers Informa Connect.

This time, the world renowned event will be continued on a virtual platform – a decision made after careful consideration by the SIBCON committee – due to its sheer importance for the marine fuels industry despite the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“SIBCON is an enabler. We are, collectively, facing unprecedented times due to COVID and challenging market conditions,” Sukumar Verma, Managing Director at Informa Connect, Singapore told Manifold Times in an exclusive interview.

“The industry needs guidance, information and collaboration opportunities to move forward as a whole and SIBCON is ideally placed to provide this.”

The Singapore bunkering publication was seeking for more details on how the world’s most respected bunkering event will be carried out; for several (including the author), it is the first time attending a massive virtual event with features such as exhibitions, livestreaming, on-demand content, and more.

“SIBCON 2020 will be the perfect opportunity to embrace innovation, and the new normal for conferences. We want to open up the thinking associated with attending such events and show the marine fuels industry new possibilities available with the virtual format,” notes Verma.

“The ‘new’ SIBCON will be completely different to the point that it cannot be compared to the earlier physical format. We are now offering an online marketplace, which is also a content and engagement solution.

“With it comes unique advantages of attracting a new profile of people from around the world who may not have made it to the physical event, if we proceeded with it, for the reasons of travel safety, time and cost.”

He noted SIBCON 2020 will be accessible within a web browser through an event platform called Swapcard.

“Swapcard is an integrated platform that will host the virtual conference, virtual exhibition and virtual networking components for SIBCON this year,” he explains.

The program is an intuitive and easy to navigate platform and offers delegates the ability to customise the event to their needs; such as by tracking the participant list, visiting virtual exhibitions, prioritising networking, organising one-on-one meetings, and more.

“All registered participants will receive joining instructions, and we will have onboarding sessions for anyone who needs it,” adds Verma.

In addition, Informa Connect will conduct a more detailed education process for sponsors and exhibitors to help the audience maximise possibilities of the virtual platform for networking, data gathering, and business opportunities.

“The virtual environment offers scale in networking, uses AI to do match making and suggest meetings, and helps in focused lead generation. Further, every meeting held virtually is akin to exchanging a business card, and the person details can be used for further follow up,” he says.

“Brand engagement in a virtual event can be captured by monitoring who attends which session, who downloads a whitepaper, who visits a virtual booth, etc and all these details are fed back to sponsors and exhibitors for follow up and data gathering.

“Having said the above, it will help if the sponsors and exhibitors are also proactive such as by ensuring their team profiles are updated, run polls and quizzes to attract attention, offer prizes, actively source meetings, etc.”

To date, SIBCON is seeing strong support from industry for the virtual format.

“Simply put, SIBCON 2020 offers premium content plus the world’s largest bunker marketplace. All without an air ticket and hotel fees, and in the comfort of your own office/home,” concludes Verma.

“The majority of our speakers are rarely found on other bunker event line ups, and what they say can only be found in this biennial conference. The sheer scale of the event creates a marketplace enabling business transactions as well, now on a global scale.

“This SIBCON is special, and offers an opportunity for thought leaders of the bunkering industry to capitalise on as we head towards digitisation and towards a ‘new’ norm.”

Related: Singapore: SIBCON 2020 bunkering event to be hosted virtually


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 6 August, 2020

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Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Firm signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard “Pacific Sentinel”.





Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Thursday (22 February) said it signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, said: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximising both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology.”

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment.”

“We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, said: “EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet.” 

“Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/dwt-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

“With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs® on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. 


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 23 February, 2024

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Vietnam: Two ships seized over 170,000 litres of unknown origin diesel oil

Vietnam Coast Guard said vessels were transporting various quantities of oil cargo: KG-91487- DR was transporting about 145,000 litres and KG-91602-TS transported about 25,000 litres.





Vietnam: Two ships seized over 170,000 litres of unknown origin diesel oil

The Vietnam Coast Guard on Tuesday (20 February) said it seized a total of about 170,000 litres of unknown origin diesel oil in an operation. 

Patrol boats belonging to Coast Guard Region 4 Command detected two fishing boats – KG-91487- DR and KG-91602-TS – displaying several suspicious signs.

Initial investigations found all vessels without invoices and documents proving legal origin of the oil material.

The vessels were transporting various quantities of oil material: KG-91487- DR was transporting about 145,000 litres and KG-91602-TS transported about 25,000 litres.

The authorities made records of administrative violations,and escorted the vessels to Fleet Port 422 in Phú Quốc city, Kiên Giang province for further investigations and handling in accordance with the law.


Photo credit: Vietnam Coast Guard
Published: 23 February, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

SEA-LNG said move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.





Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP), a joint-venture between Seapath Group, one of the maritime subsidiaries of the Libra Group, and Pilot LNG, LLC (Pilot), a Houston-based clean energy solutions company, has joined SEA-LNG, according to the latter on Wednesday (21 February). 

SEA-LNG said the move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.

GLBP was announced in September 2023 and will develop, construct and operate the US Gulf Coast’s first dedicated facility supporting the fuelling of LNG-powered vessels, expected to be operational late-2026.

The shore-based LNG liquefaction facility will be located on Shoal Point in Texas City, part of the greater Houston-Galveston port complex, one of the busiest ports in the USA. This is a strategic location for cruise ship LNG bunkering in US waters, as well as for international ship-to-ship bunkering and cool-down services. GLBP will offer cost-effective turn-key LNG supply solutions to meet growing demand for the cleaner fuel in the USA and Gulf of Mexico.

Jonathan Cook, Pilot CEO, said: “With an initial investment of approximately $180 million, our LNG bunkering facility will supply a vital global and U.S. trade corridor with cleaner marine fuel. We recognise that SEA-LNG is a leading partner and a key piece of the LNG bunkering sector, and will give us access to insights and expertise across the entire LNG supply chain.

“LNG supports environmental goals and human health by offering ship operators immediate reductions in CO2 emissions and virtually eliminating harmful local emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.”

President of Seapath, Joshua Lubarsky, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the decarbonization of the maritime industry through strategic, and much needed, investments into the supply of alternative fuels.  We are also happy to be a part of SEA-LNG which has done a wonderful job in advocating for advancements in technology in this vital sector.”

Chairman of SEA-LNG Peter Keller, said: “We’re proud to welcome another leading LNG supplier to the coalition and are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. With every investment in supply infrastructure in the US and worldwide, the LNG pathway’s head start increases. Global availability, alongside bio-LNG and e-LNG development, makes LNG the practical and realistic route to maritime decarbonisation.

“All alternative fuels exist on a pathway from grey, fossil-based fuels to green, bio or renewable fuels. Green fuels represent a scarce resource and many have scalability issues, so we must start our net-zero journey today with grey fuels. LNG is the only grey fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, well-to-wake, so you need less green fuel than alternatives to improve emissions performance.”


Photo credit: SEA-LNG
Published: 23 February, 2024

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