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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.




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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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VPS launches Maress Summer Campaign Dashboard to track progress of vessels

Dashboard will enable the maritime industry to follow the development of its maritime emissions saving campaign, Maress Summer Campaign 2024, which is aimed at saving 15,000 tons of CO2.





VPS launches Maress Summer Campaign Dashboard to track progress of vessels

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Thursday (20 June) said it launched its Maress Campaign Dashboard to enable the maritime industry to follow the development of its maritime emissions saving campaign for this year.

It said the Maress Summer Campaign 2024, which started on 1 June and will run for 90 days, is ongoing and is aimed at achieving the goal of saving 15,000 tons of CO2.

“Since our last update, the number of participating vessels has increased from 278 to 303. This is more than doubling of the vessels that participated in the campaign last year,” VPS said in a social media post.

“The industry-wide effort to drive decarbonisation is showing fantastic results, with innovative initiatives and remarkable engagement from vessels across the board.”

It added the main purpose of the campaign is to create collaboration and awareness around emission reductions. 

“This industry-first tool is now open for everyone in the industry to track the collective progress. Updated daily, it provides a transparent and exciting view of the leaders in each category, showcasing the close race towards efficiency gains,” VPS said on the dashboard.

Note: The new dashboard by VPS for the Maress Summer Campaign 2024 can be found here.

Related: VPS to organise Maress Decarbonisation Campaign in 2024
Related: VPS wins OSJ Annual Environment Award 2024 for Maress Summer Campaign
Related: VPS records 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emission cut from campaign with top OSV players
Related: VPS Decarbonisation to kickstart summer campaign to reduce shipping emissions


Photo credit: VPS
Published: 21 June, 2024

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UECC reduces emissions in 2023 by more than doubling bio bunker fuel use

UECC boosted the use of ISCC-certified sustainable biofuel B100 on both owned and time-chartered ships to 14,000 mt last year, up from 6,500 mt in 2022.






United European Car Carriers (UECC) recently announced its progress of using alternative bunker fuels and said it was on track to exceed its goal of a 45% emissions reduction by 2030 after more than doubling biofuel usage across its fleet last year.

UECC boosted the use of ISCC-certified sustainable biofuel B100 on both owned and time-chartered ships to 14,000 metric tonnes (mt) last year, up from 6,500 mt in 2022.

The company achieved a total tank-to-wake emissions reduction of over 60,000 tonnes across its 14-vessel fleet in 2023, of which it is estimated increased biofuel use accounted for 40,000 tonnes, with the remainder coming from LNG. This was a near-250% increase on the emissions cut of 24,200 tonnes achieved in 2022.

TheEuropean sustainable shortsea carrier said it has made significant strides in decarbonisation of its fleet of pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) with the addition of five LNG-fuelled newbuilds and the increased rollout of biofuels in recent years - and this is now showing commercial payback for clients in the light of new green regulations, according to Energy and Sustainability Manager Daniel Gent.

“Consequently, we are well on the way to reach or exceed our 45% emissions reduction target by 2030. This clearly has a positive impact for those bio-supportive cargo owners in terms of reducing costs related to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS),” Gent said.

“Furthermore, 85% of the vessels in our fleet achieved a C-rating last year with the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and this year we expect all our ships to achieve this rating or above.”

Gent also pointed out the UECC fleet is already in surplus in relation to the requirement for an average 14.5% reduction in GHG intensity by 2035 under the FuelEU Maritime regulation due to be implemented next year.

The environmental performance of UECC’s current fleet of nine owned and five time-chartered PCTCs has been enhanced through delivery over the past seven years of five eco-friendly newbuilds - a pair of dual-fuelled LNG vessels and trio of multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid units.

The use of LNG reduces emissions of CO2 by around 25%, SOx and particulate matter by 90% and NOx by 85%, while the latest battery hybrid newbuilds exceed the IMO target to reduce carbon intensity by at least 40% from 2008 levels by 2030.

UECC is now looking at sourcing alternative carbon-neutral fuels such as bio-LNG and e-LNG for these vessels to further improve their green performance, according to Gent.

UECC’s adoption of alternative fuels has expanded exponentially since the programme was launched in 2020 with piloting the use of biofuel on its vessel Autosky, bolstered by valuable support from owners of its time-chartered vessels, clients such as BMW, fuel suppliers like GoodFuels, industry partners, and parent companies NYK and Wallenius Lines.

“We are now in the fifth year of running our biofuels programme and it has gone from strength to strength. UECC has sought to take a leading role through early-stage analysis of new biofuels to evaluate their potential in terms of technical suitability, sustainability and commercial viability, both  to deliver the best solution for our customers and give the sector a blueprint for assessment and adoption of such fuels based on these three pillars,” Gent explained.

He added that, in terms of sustainability criteria, the company looks for biofuels with the biggest environmental impact, with a typical minimum 90% reduction in GHG intensity from well-to-wake compared with conventional marine fuels. 

UECC has steadily expanded the use of green fuels to cover 30% of its fleet in 2023, up from 18% in 2022, and is on track to achieve 50% coverage this year towards the goal of 80% by 2030, though Gent is confident of surpassing this figure.

He said being proactive in trialling new alternative fuels has also promoted engagement with fuel providers, which has led to UECC’s latest initiative together with biofuel supplier ACT Group as part of an industry collaboration to test the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL)-based biofuel FS.100 that he believes has “great potential for sustainable shipping”.

“Increasing the pool of sustainable drop-in fuels offers a pathway for shipping to achieve rapid emissions cuts on existing vessels. Combining alternative fuels with energy efficiency measures such as hull cleaning and electrification with shore power can further accelerate decarbonisation,” Gent said.

“By progressively advancing the use of alternative fuels, we are reducing emissions exposure for our clients and securing regulatory compliance long into the future, while also promoting industry efforts to reach the net-zero goal,” he concluded.


Photo credit: United European Car Carriers
Published: 21 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

Naming ceremony and delivery of vessel, organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, marked entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.





CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

French shipping giant on Wednesday (19 June) said it celebrated the naming ceremony and delivery of its fourth LNG-fuelled container ship, CMA CGM Tivoli.

Organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, on 16 June, the event marked the official entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.

“Featuring optimised features for 45-foot containers, increased capacity for refrigerated containers, and innovative forward accommodation to enhance cargo loading and aerodynamics, CMA CGM Tivoli distinguishes itself with a high ‘length to beam" ratio to maximise hydrodynamic efficiency,” the firm said in a social media post. 

“She departed the shipyard on June 15th, 2024, bound for Busan. We wish fair winds and smooth seas to Captain Artur Dumbrov and his crew.” 


Photo credit: CMA CGM
Published: 21 June, 2024

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