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SIBCON 2020: Executive summary of the world’s top bunkering event hosted ‘in a very special year’

Event welcomed over 1,100 attendees from 42 countries; delegates visited virtual booths about 4,800 times; while around 5,800 connections were made, according to data from organiser Informa.




Singapore vessel flag

Resilience. This was arguably the word on the back of everyone’s minds while moderators, speakers, and delegates conducted business at the biennially held Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) 2020.

Rather than cancelling the event and taking a four-year gap in light of the restrictions imposed on social gatherings, SIBCON was held – for the first time – in a virtual environment.

It was attended by over 1,100 attendees from 42 countries who visited the virtual booths about 4,800 times; and around 5,800 connections were made, according to data from organiser Informa.

The much anticipated bunkering event certainly did not disappoint with the announcements of new developments for the bunkering industry.

The following is a key summary of developments at SIBCON 2020 covered by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

Tackling bunkering black sheep and malpractice head on

The event started with a matter-of-fact keynote address from Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Transport, Chee Hong Tat, who took the lead to address the elephant in the room, amongst other issues.

SMS Chee was open and forthcoming to acknowledge the bunkering industry has its “share of black sheep and cases of malpractice”. Though issues may exist, he made it clear the Singapore government would not hesitate to take firm action and revoke bunkering licences of errant companies.

Major milestone in MFM bunkering – SS660 and TR80

A major highlight of SIBCON 2020 was the launch of bunkering standards SS660 and TR80; a project which the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore Chemical Industry Council, Standards Development Organisation, Singapore Standards Council, Enterprise Singapore spent years in the making.

This was an important development as SS660 and TR80 complete the trinity of mass flowmeter (MFM) bunkering standards that enhance the integrity and trust of the entire bunker supply chain in Singapore.

Under TR80, the measurement performance of MFM-equipped Singapore bunker tankers can be verified using a Master MFM; this is a development much welcomed by shipowners.

New business dynamics of the bunkering sector

Tightened credit financing from banks, and logistical issues of conducting crew change operations during the pandemic have resulted in new business dynamics for the bunkering sector.

Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services spoke from the Singapore bunker supplier’s point of view of how the issues can be handled by trust between industry stakeholders, while BIMCO provided its analysis of how bunkering firms can stay competitive during this period.

A deep dive presentation with representatives of Oldendorff Carriers, Hafnia, Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions, Sing Fuels provided further details on how their respective bunkering operations were doing in the post Covid-19 era.

Proposal to mandate ISO 8217:2017 at Singapore port

A noteworthy subject raised at SIBCON 2020 was a public proposal brought up by international fuel testing and inspection firm Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) to have MPA mandate the use of ISO 8217:2017 at Singapore port.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, Managing Director AMEA at VPS, who made the proposal said 30% of VPS’ shipowner clients are still using the “obsolete” 2005 version of the ISO 8217 marine fuel standard; while 60% currently uses the 2012 version.

“If the industry is not going to use this [latest fuel quality] standard, I think we are in a really tough spot,” he states.

Securing the alternative marine fuels future

With IMO 2020 in effect and new maritime emissions requirements set for 2030 and 2050, stakeholders took the opportunity to use SIBCON 2020 as a springboard to share green shipping developments.

This saw MPA entering into a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to form a Future Fuels Port Network with the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan to align the efforts in driving the development of new fuels.

Pavilion Energy Singapore and Gasum also used the event to announce a collaboration agreement to develop a global LNG bunker supply network for their customers in Singapore and Northern Europe.

Digitisation for the marine fuels industry

The virtually held SIBCON 2020 seemed to be a perfect platform for stakeholders to market the use of technology for supporting bunkering operations.

KPI OceanConnect took the chance to share why voyage management systems and bunker management platforms will undergo digitisation within the next three decades, while a separate session saw MPA sharing an intention to develop smart digital and autonomous bunkering operations at the republic.

Singapore-based maritime solutions firm Claritecs was also given the opportunity to explain why it believes digitisation offers forward thinking bunkering firms a competitive edge though BunkerMAESTRO, a solution aimed at eliminating operational inefficiencies while bringing all parties involved in bunker deliveries on a common platform, and its MFM auto-profiling for quick diagnostics of MFM data.

Manifold Times is proud to be the official media partner of SIBCON 2020; its coverage for the event during this very special year is as follows: 


SIBCON 2020: TMFGS shares view on post IMO 2020 capacity of LNG cargo and bunker market
SIBCON 2020: Stakeholders discuss future of Singapore’s bunkering sector at session finale
SIBCON 2020: KPI OceanConnect CEO discusses digitalisation of the bunkering marketplace
SIBCON 2020: Singapore Bunkering TC Chairman discusses Singapore bunker standards with BIMCO
SIBCON 2020: Deep dive finds how bunker value chain is coping with industry issues post Covid-19
SIBCON 2020: BIMCO Chief Shipping Analyst explains new business dynamics in bunker fuels sector
SIBCON 2020: Singapore enters memorandum of cooperation on future fuels port network
SIBCON 2020: VPS proposes mandate of latest bunker fuel quality standards for Singapore market
SIBCON 2020: Equatorial Marine Fuels provides view on local and global bunker markets post Covid
SIBCON 2020: TR 48 reaps annual savings of at least SGD 80 million for bunkering sector
SIBCON 2020: Singapore introduces new MFM bunkering standards SS 660 and TR 80
SIBCON 2020: Powering Fuels of the Future, Driving towards Decarbonisation
SIBCON 2020: Senior Minister highlights ‘quality resilience and sustainability’ for bunkering sector


Singapore: Master MFM bunker verification gathers international praise; stakeholders explain benefits
Infineum explains: The ability of additives to ‘save’ off-spec VLSFO bunkers depends on these factors
Infineum explains: ISO 8217:2017 should be viewed as ‘minimum performance benchmark’ for VLSFOs
VPS: Shipowners face ‘tricky situation’ to balance VLSFO shelf life and wax appearance temperature
VPS: Big data analysis reveals link between Covid-19 and spike in low flashpoint
Methanex Corporation explains its case for methanol as a marine fuel in interview
Chairman of Technical Committee for Bunkering explains SS 660, TR 80; and cast an eye to the future
Interview: Hafnia shares IMO 2020 preparations, promotes transparency for bunkering operations
Interview: Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions discusses sector growth, IMO 2020, and future plans
SIBCON 2020: Evolution to a ‘completely different’ bunkering industry event, says organiser


Related: NYK line reveals decarbonisation plan in panel on alternative bunker fuels at SIBCON 2020
Related: Pavilion Energy and Gasum to develop global LNG bunker supply network
RelatedSingapore: SIBCON 2020 bunkering event to be hosted virtually
Related: Argus Media: Low carbon marine fuels needed well before 2050
Related: Singapore: LNG bunkering course included in Enhanced Training Support Package


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 20 October, 2020

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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.






Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing 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.

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


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.






Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.


Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.





Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.


Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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