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SIBCON 2022: Development of ISO 8217:2024 in progress; but ‘ineffective’ without industry adoption, foresees VPS

12 Oct 2022

Development of the ISO 8217:2024 marine fuel quality standard, no matter how robust, will be ineffective without mainstream adoption by the shipping industry, believes the Managing Director for Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA) at VPS.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri shared his observations while speaking at the Marine Fuel Quality and Dispute Resolution session during the 22nd edition of Singapore International Bunkering Conference, also known as SIBCON 2022, on Wednesday (5 October).

Latest data from VPS, the world’s largest bunker fuel testing company, shows only 17% of ship operators using the latest ISO 8217:2017 specification, shared Captain Choudhuri.

“The majority of ship operators are using ISO 8217:2010/2012 specifications which is already 10 years old and 13% of the same group are still using the 2005 standards which is 17 years old,” he said.

“A new marine fuel specification is coming out in 2024 but the shipping industry’s adoption of the latest ISO 8217 specification is yet still so far behind. We will need much more traction to be able to use these new specifications effectively.

“Of course, ISO 8217:2024 will be a better specification otherwise it won’t be made but there is also a need for the right regulations to make this work otherwise I don’t think it [ISO 8217:2024] will take off.”

Captain Choudhuri, who is also the Chairman of the National Mirror Committee for Fuel Quality Specifications review & development at Singapore, highlighted the recent launch of a provisional national standard on specifications of marine biofuel (WA 2:2022).

The intention of WA 2:2022 is to support bunkering trials of biofuel at the Port of Singapore; such operations are conducted under a framework where specifications of the material shall comply with ISO 8217:2017 (with the exception of clause 5.1 of ISO 8217:2017 on FAME levels).

“When you’re looking at standards, I want to use the biofuel interim standard [WA 2:2022] as an example of not only the industry but also regulatory bodies coming together to develop a standard which ISO 8217:2024 will have guidance to,” he explains.

“Singapore has a national committee that is very dynamic. It has taken initiative to develop a set of biofuel interim standards to support not only it’s bunkering sector but also the upcoming revision of ISO 8217 which is expected to be finished in 2024.

“However, in the meantime, there’s still a big gap [between now and 2024] and that to me shows where the rubber meets the road. And here is where we welcome committed ship operators to come start their biofuel journey with us at Singapore.”

Related: Singapore: MPA develops framework to support biofuel bunker fuel deliveries

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Photo credit: SIBCON 2022
Published: 12 October, 2022

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