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Alternative Fuels

Singapore bunker volume down by 4.3% on year but biofuel sales surpasses LNG

Bunker sales in 2022 included about 140,000 tonnes of biofuel blends over more than 90 biofuel bunkering operations, surpassing the 16,000 tonnes in LNG bunker sales.




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While total volume declined by 4.3% year-on-year in Singapore, bunker sales in 2022 included about 140,000 tonnes of biofuel blends over more than 90 biofuel bunkering operations, surpassing the 16,000 tonnes in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunker sales.

This was one of the main highlights in a speech by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport, who was the Guest-of-Honour at the annual Singapore Maritime Foundation New Year Conversations event on Friday (13 January). He spoke on the developments and 2022 performance of Maritime Singapore.

He said Singapore remained a favoured location for bunkers and has made progress in supplying alternative fuels, such as biofuels, to support maritime decarbonisation. A total of 47.9 million tonnes of bunker sales was registered in 2022.

Mr Chee added MPA has also developed a framework for licensed bunker suppliers to supply biofuel to vessels within the Port of Singapore. 

“A provisional standard for marine biofuel specifications, for blends of up to B50, was developed in consultation with industry and researchers to support trials by the maritime community on carbon emissions reduction potentials of biofuels. Currently, commercial sales of biofuel blends of up to B24 are available for the maritime sector in Singapore,” he said.

“In December 2022, MPA and the Energy Market Authority also launched an Expression of Interest (EOI), calling for proposals to build, own and operate low or zero-carbon ammonia power generation and bunkering solutions in Jurong Island. The EOI is open until end April 2023.”

Growing our International Maritime Centre and MarineTech Ecosystem

As a leading International Maritime Centre, Maritime Singapore is home to a diverse range of maritime businesses, with more than 170 international shipping groups as well as other maritime players in the areas of finance, insurance, cybersecurity, shipbroking, law and arbitration. Despite global inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions, our International Maritime Centre has expanded steadily in 2022. 

Last year, total business spending by shipping companies exceeded S$4.3 billion, and more than 30 companies established or expanded their operations in Singapore, supported under programmes by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). This is more than 30% higher than the number of companies which expanded operations or set up in Singapore in 2021.

Singapore was also recognised as the top international maritime city in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index and Menon Economics-DNV’s Leading Maritime Cities of the World report. 

 MPA is working with the industry, research, and the investment community to grow our MarineTech ecosystem. The number of start-ups under Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @BLOCK71 (PIER71TM) has grown from 17 in 2018 when PIER71TM was launched, to close to 100 today. These start-ups have raised overS$50 million in investment in the past four years, and four start-ups have also expanded their technology solutions abroad. MPA will continue to work with our partners to reach the goal of 150 MarineTech start-ups in Singapore by 2025.

Container, Cargo Throughput and Vessel Arrival Tonnage in 2022

The Port of Singapore is essential to Singapore’s connectivity and trade with the rest of the world. In 2022, Singapore’s position as a trusted, global transshipment hub was strengthened amidst challenging global economic conditions. The Port of Singapore remained resilient compared to the decline in global container trade of about 3 to 4% in 2022. Despite the global slowdown in production and consumption, Singapore’s container throughput in 2022 reached 37.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the second-highest throughput on record, and a slight decline of 0.7% from the record throughput of 37.6 million TEUs in 2021. A total of 577.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2022 was handled. Vessel arrival tonnage hit 2.83 billion Gross Tonnage (GT).

Singapore Registry of Ships among Top Registries

The Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) continues to rank as one of the top five largest ship registries globally, with a high-quality fleet. The total tonnage of ships under the Singapore flag in 2022 was close to 96 million GT, about a 4% increase from 2021. In 2022, 25 Singapore-flagged ships from 13 companies received Green Ship certificates under the Green Ship Programme. 

Since 2011, over 650 ships have been recognised under the programme, which will continue to evolve to support the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. The SRS expects to see a steady rise in green fleet, given Maritime Singapore’s continued efforts to attract green ships into the SRS through co-developing standards and pilots with research institutes and classification societies. 

Details of Singapore’s port performance for the last ten years, from 2013 to 2022, are listed in Annex A

Singapore’s International and Regional Efforts 

MPA continues to champion issues globally through active engagement and multi-stakeholder collaboration with international organisations, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, the International Hydrographic Organization and the International Mobile Satellite Organization. 

In December 2022, Singapore’s Tan Hanqiang was appointed Vice-Chair of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee which will review the greenhouse gas emission reduction pathways and strategies at the IMO. The appointment is a testament to Singapore’s long-standing efforts to bring parties together for consensus-building at the international level.  

Singapore is also working with countries, research and industry stakeholders to develop Green and Digital Shipping Corridors (GDSC), which serve as valuable testbeds to trial new technologies and fuels in a sandbox environment, gain operational and safety experience, optimise route planning, prior to scaling up for wider adoption. To-date, Singapore has announced a GDSC collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam to establish the world’s longest green and digital shipping corridor, and is working with the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of Long Beach, and C40 Cities towards a corridor between Singapore and the San Pedro Bay port complex.  

The Next Bound of Growth for Maritime Singapore 

Maritime Singapore will capture new opportunities and drive further growth through continued investments in capability-building, talent development and innovation, and anchored by strong tripartite partnerships.


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 16 January, 2023

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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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