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SIBCON 2020: Senior Minister highlights ‘quality resilience and sustainability’ for bunkering sector

‘We will continue to review and adopt a multi-pronged approach to uphold Singapore as a trusted and quality bunkering hub,’ states Chee Hong Tat in opening address.




Chee Hong Tat Final

Singapore’s bunkering sector will need to adapt and transform to ride out the current crisis, says its Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Transport at the 21st edition of Singapore International Bunkering Conference, also known as SIBCON 2020, on Tuesday (6 October).

Chee Hong Tat outlined three priority areas, namely quality, resilience, and sustainability as factors the republic’s marine refuelling sector will need to adopt in order for it to remain successful.

Upholding Quality and Trust

“Throughout the many disruptions, one thing remains constant: the industry must continue to provide trusted and quality bunkering services,” states SMS Chee during his opening address.

“Singapore is committed to maintaining the integrity of our bunkering sector. We are not perfect. We have our share of black sheep and cases of malpractice, but what is clear is that we will not hesitate to take firm action and revoke bunkering licences of errant companies.”

He notes Singapore recently launched the Singapore Standard for bunker cargo delivery from oil terminal to bunker tanker using Mass Flow Meter; and the Technical Reference for meter verification using Master Mass Flow Meter.

“We will continue to review and adopt a multi-pronged approach to uphold Singapore as a trusted and quality bunkering hub,” says SMS Chee.

“Besides regulations and swift enforcement measures, we will also accelerate efforts in digitalisation of transmission of data between buyers and sellers, to make bunker transactions more secure.”

Enhancing Resilience through Digitalisation

SMS Chee, meanwhile, said there is room to do more to help Singapore’s maritime industry to become truly digital. He emphasised on the transformation of business processes and operations to improve productivity and lower handling costs.

He shared the launch of a third Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan, or IDP, covering the bunkering sector where $30,000 has been allocated for each SME per year to cover up to 70% of adoption costs such as software subscription, professional services and training, as well as up to 50% of their hardware costs.

The use of electronic bunker delivery notes (or e-BDN) will also automate the transmission of Mass Flow Meter data to delivery notes.

“We have made good progress. At least two bunkering companies are now conducting their proof of concept to fully integrate and automate MFM data into delivery notes. We look forward to more companies coming on board,” updates SMS Chee.

“Using e-BDN not only cuts down the number of administrative and manual steps required from vessels, it also makes bunkering transactions more secure by reducing the opportunities for manipulation of data during the transmission process.”

Transforming the Bunkering Sector to be Sustainable

SMS Chee further states LNG as a viable transitional fuel that ships could consume to meet IMO’s 2050 goals; as such, Singapore has been developing its ecosystem and infrastructure to support LNG bunkering.

“MPA has issued two LNG bunker supplier licences, and co-developed standards and procedures in LNG bunkering, including safe simultaneous operations (SIMOPS), with the industry and other authorities. To date, we have performed more than 270 truck-to-ship LNG bunkering operations,” he says.

“For ship-to-ship LNG bunkering, we have awarded $6 million for building of 2 LNG bunker vessels. Ship-to-ship LNG bunkering will be ready by the first quarter of 2021.

“My wife and I were honoured to participate in a virtual ceremony for FueLNG Bellina, the first of two LNG bunker vessels to be delivered latest by early next year.”

He expects Singapore to have an LNG bunker supply capacity of up to 1 million tonnes per annum from 2021, translating to about 300 ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operations per annum to large-LNG-fuelled vessels.

In order to further expand the business of LNG bunkering, MPA will also be launching a Request for Proposal in the coming weeks to issue additional LNG bunker supplier licences to support the growing demand for LNG bunkers.

Moving beyond LNG, SMS Chee shared Singapore will continue to invest in the search for green bunker fuels of the future.

“To accelerate efforts on the R&D front for decarbonisation, MPA & SMI have commenced the ‘Biofuel Compatibility Study for Singapore Harbour Craft’,” he notes.

“The study is led by the Nanyang Technological University’s Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence.”

The Republic, through MPA, will also be signing a Memorandum of Cooperation on a future fuels port network with the Port of Rotterdam and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan.

“The MoC will allow for the development of a roadmap on the adoption of future marine fuels to support decarbonisation, and the coordination of possible joint bunkering pilot runs with identified shipping lines between ports.”

A series of SIBCON 2020 related articles have been earlier written by Manifold Times:

Related: Infineum explains: ISO 8217:2017 should be viewed as a ‘minimum performance benchmark’ for VLSFOs
Related: Interview: Hafnia shares IMO 2020 preparations, promotes transparency for bunkering operations
Related: VPS: Shipowners face ‘tricky situation’ to balance VLSFO shelf life and wax appearance temperature
Related: VPS: Big data analysis reveals link between Covid-19 and spike in low flashpoint MGO off-spec cases
Related: Interview: Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions discusses sector growth, IMO 2020, and future plans
Related: SIBCON 2020: Evolution to a ‘completely different’ bunkering industry event, says organiser
Related: Singapore: SIBCON 2020 bunkering event to be hosted virtually


Photo credit: SIBCON 2020
Published: 6 October, 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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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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VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker fuel specs; Orim will source fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver final biofuel blends to vessels.





VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO Energy (VARO) on Wednesday (21 February) said it is partnering with Orim Energy (Orim) to provide shipping customers in the Port of Rotterdam – and wider Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region - with biofuels. 

The agreement supports the decarbonisation of maritime transportation and inland shipping in Northern Europe. It also contributes to the wider targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 20% by 2030 and at least 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

Current demand for Fuel Oil in ARA , Europe’s largest bunkering hub, is approximately 14 million tonnes per year. Supported by new EU regulations, the market for B30, a blend of 70% Fuel Oil and 30% biofuels, is expected to grow rapidly to the end of the decade. As a result of this joint initiative, VARO and Orim will be well positioned to meet this increased demand and support the decarbonisation plans of their shipping customers.

VARO’s biofuels trading capabilities and growing biofuel manufacturing asset base will complement Orim’s extensive distribution, storage and bunkering capabilities in ARA. Under the agreement, VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker specifications. Orim will source the fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver the final biofuel blends to customers’ vessels.

VARO has a long track record of providing biofuels for maritime logistics. Since 2018, the company has supplied the Port of Rotterdam with HVO100 (100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil “HVO”) for use with the Port’s service fleet. In 2023 VARO signed an agreement with Höegh Autoliners to supply the company with 100% advanced biofuels for its shipping fleet.

The partnership is aligned with VARO’s strategy to become the partner of choice for customers in the energy transition by providing them with the low-carbon energy solutions they need to decarbonise.

Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, said: “Meeting rising demand for blended biofuels is critical to achieving the EU and IMO’s decarbonisation targets for shipping. Our experience in biofuels, combined with Orim’s logistics and bunkering operations, will help meet this demand at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port facility. I am delighted to be entering into a strategic partnership with Orim and to further build on VARO’s long-established presence in Rotterdam. This is another step in our journey to enable the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

Edwin Coppens, Managing Director of Orim, said: “Upcoming EU and IMO regulations drive the need to scale up with biofuels and ensure quality assurance going forward. Partnering with VARO allows us to do just that, using each other’s strengths to optimize our blending expertise and network. We will benefit from VARO’s extensive experience with biofuels, which includes joint testing with leading ship engine suppliers. Together, we can increase our sourcing and supply capabilities, extending our reach and further strengthening our position in the ARA region.”


Photo credit: VARO Energy
Published: 23 February, 2024

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