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Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op

Maersk and Hong Lam Marine have successfully conducted world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation of a Maersk’s container vessel on 27 July 2023 in Singapore, says MPA.

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (27 July) said Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd have successfully conducted the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation of a Maersk’s container vessel on 27 July 2023 at the Raffles Reserved Anchorage in Singapore. 

This was also Singapore’s first methanol bunkering operation. The operation was done with the support of MPA, government agencies and research institutes.

Maersk’s container vessel – the world’s first container vessel sailing on green methanol – was successfully refuelled with approximately 300 metric tonnes of bio-methanol via Hong Lam Marine’s Singapore-registered tanker, MT Agility, for its onward maiden passage to Copenhagen. MT Agility had earlier taken bio-methanol stored at Vopak Terminals. The container vessel will be named in a ceremony in Copenhagen in September.

Thorough Preparations to Ensure Safety 

In preparation for the methanol bunkering operation in Singapore, MPA worked with over 28 agencies, partners and institutes to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out a Ground Deployment Exercise (GDX). The first TTX was held during Singapore Maritime Week 2023 to identify safety measures and clarify roles and responsibilities for a coordinated cross-agency response to a methanol incident at sea. 

A separate Hazard Identification (HAZID) and Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) workshop was conducted to identify potential risks and develop corresponding prevention, control, and mitigation methods. These were further evaluated during a second TTX and a GDX at sea in July 2023 with various stakeholders and government agencies. Customised methanol firefighting programme was also conducted by the Co-operative of SCDF Employees Ltd (COSEM) for MPA staff and Hong Lam Marine crew members as part of the preparations for the bunkering operation.

As part of the risk and environmental impact assessment for the methanol bunkering operation, MPA reviewed methanol-related incidents globally and worked with the Meteorological Service of Singapore to provide advance lightning risk warning if required. A methanol plume model was jointly developed by the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), A*STAR, Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI), National University of Singapore, and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), to forecast the dispersion path of the methanol plume in an event of an accidental methanol release and guide operations.

The model is a combination of dispersion in the air layer using computational fluid dynamics by IHPC, weather forecast and air quality modelling by TMSI, and plume dispersion in the sea via metocean modelling and prediction by TCOMS. During the methanol bunkering operation, researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore flew drones equipped with methanol detector with plume modelling capabilities and infrared camera from MPA’s patrol craft MPA Guardian to augment the detection of potential methanol leaks into the atmosphere and methanol flames in an event of an accidental leak. These novel capabilities will be further enhanced to support the review of responses to maritime incidents and raise the preparedness of seafarers, marine professionals, and the port ecosystem in Singapore as new marine fuels such as methanol are introduced. 

A Technical Reference (TR) for methanol bunkering is being developed by MPA in consultation with the Standards Development Organisation at Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SDO@SCIC). The TR will cover the refuelling requirements, operational and safety requirements for delivery of methanol from a bunker tanker to receiving vessels, crew training and competency. Best practices learnt from this bunkering operation will also inform the development of specialised bunker vessels, mass flow meters, digital bunkering and other standards.

Aside from the development of the Technical Reference, MPA will continue to develop other operational and safety protocols, licensing requirements, training of seafarers and professionals, and study infrastructure needs such as terminal facilities and methanol carrying bunker tankers, to fully operationalise methanol bunkering. Learnings from the bunkering operation will also be presented to partners and international bodies such as the International Maritime Organization later this year to support the safe adoption of methanol as a marine fuel.

Milestone in Singapore’s green shipping future

MPA said the successful completion of the methanol bunkering operation is a significant milestone for Singapore’s development towards a multi-fuel future, and a testament to Singapore’s commitment as the world’s largest bunkering hub to meet the new marine fuel needs of international shipping through safe and efficient bunkering operations. It added more methanol bunkering operations are being planned in the coming year as methanol-enabled vessels are delivered globally. 

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, said: “The success of the methanol bunkering operation is a result of nearly a year’s preparations with various government agencies, research institutes, international collaborators, and industry to develop rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. This operation will help inform the development of the various standards, including the Technical Reference for methanol bunkering operations in Singapore, and guide our approach for future pilots and trials of new marine fuels. We thank A.P. Moller-Maersk, Hong Lam Marine, American Bureau of Shipping, Mitsui & Co., OCI Global, Stellar Shipmanagement and Vopak for their joint efforts with Singapore-based agencies in operationalising methanol bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation.”

Mr Morten Bo Christensen, Head of Energy Transition at A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “A.P. Moller - Maersk is excited to collaborate with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Mitsui & Co., American Bureau of Shipping and Hong Lam Marine on the maiden voyage of the world’s first container vessel sailing on green methanol. This journey is an important step in our efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, as it will allow us to gain the necessary operational experience to operate the new engines and the fuel provided by OCI Global ahead of the arrival of our larger methanol-enabled vessels in the coming years.”

Mr Lim Teck Cheng, Executive Chairman, Hong Lam Marine, said: “We are deeply honoured to be a part of Singapore’s first STS methanol bunkering. This goes with our absolute commitment to provide a safe and environmentally friendly option to decarbonise the marine industry in line with IMO’s GHG emissions targets. This remarkable achievement marks a milestone and demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, and we believe this will be a significant step in accelerating the development of methanol bunkering in Singapore. We would like to express our gratitude to our partners Maersk Oil Trading and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for their collaboration and support in this endeavour. Together, we can make a positive difference for planet earth and a more sustainable future.”

Mr Panos Koutsourakis, Vice President, Global Sustainability, ABS, said: “We are proud to have collaborated with Maersk, Mitsui, Hong Lam Marine and the MPA to develop the methanol bunkering safety procedures and checklists. This is an important advance on our industry’s sustainability journey, with a laser focus on safety. Green methanol holds significant promise to contribute to the decarbonisation of our industry and ABS has been leading the way by supporting its adoption. This vessel and her successors now on order are a vital step in creating more sustainable global supply chains.”

Mr. Takuya Shirai, the Chief Operating Officer of Mobility Business Unit II of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., said: "We are extremely proud to be part of this epoch-making project from the very beginning. We believe that the success of this ship-to-ship methanol bunkering operation in the port of Singapore is only possible with the close collaborating partnership among A.P. Moller-Maersk, the American Bureau of Shipping, Hong Lam Marine, the Maritime and the Port Authority of Singapore and relevant supporters in this project. It represents a remarkable milestone to the journey towards the decarbonisation of global shipping. Through this project and other GHG reduction initiatives, Mitsui is committed to the realisation of a carbon neutral society."

Mr. Bashir Lebada, Chief Executive Officer, OCI Methanol / OCI HyFuels, said: “We are very proud to be the vessel’s fuel partner, making the world’s first green methanol-fuelled container ship journey a reality. The successful bunkering operation in Singapore is a testament to the hard work of the MPA and all the involved parties, and this maiden voyage proves that we can achieve the marine industry’s global greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets using green methanol. Singapore will be an essential hub for us as we scale our green methanol and ammonia bunker business, and we look forward to working with our local partners there to accelerate the shift to cleaner fuels in shipping.”

Kelvin Kang, General Manager, Stellar Shipmanagement, said: “Stellar Shipmanagement is delighted to be part of this HAZID/HAZOP and TTX discussion group for the methanol bunkering operation. These discussions are very important and helpful to our newbuilding methanol bunker tankers under construction currently, including layout, cargo handling, safety features as well as safe operation procedures. On behalf of our parent company Global Energy Group, we appreciate MPA’s continuous support to the bunkering industry in Singapore and the quest to make Singapore as the front runner in the development of the methanol bunkering.”

Rob Boudestijn, President, Business Unit Singapore, Vopak, said: “We congratulate Singapore on this important milestone and are proud to be a partner in completing this methanol bunkering operation safely. As a reliable infrastructure provider for maritime bunkering over the past 40 years, we look forward to playing a leading role in enabling Singapore’s maritime decarbonisation journey in the multi-fuelled future.”

Related: Singapore gets ready for its first methanol bunkering this week after one year preparation
Related: IBIA, Green Marine ink deal to provide methanol bunker training, starting in Singapore
Related: MPA organises workshop on safe handling of methanol bunker fuel in Singapore
Related: SMW 2023: Methanol-based spill scenario organised for ICOPCE table-top exercise
Related: OCI Global completes first green methanol bunkering of Maersk methanol-fuelled boxship
Related: Maersk orders six more green methanol-powered container ships from Chinese shipbuilder
Related: OCI Global to deliver green methanol bunker fuel for Maersk boxship on maiden voyage
Related: EC President to be godmother of Maersk green methanol powered vessel
Related: Maersk to hold festivities welcoming world’s first green methanol-powered boxship in September

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 27 July, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech partners with EPS on electric vessel trials

YGT’s marine electrification business, marinEV, and EPS will perform trials involving the first cargo delivery with an electric vessel and the first crew transfer with an electric vessel in Singapore.

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SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech and EPS forge alliance on electric vessel trials

Yinson GreenTech (YGT), a leading green technology solutions provider, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a global leader in maritime transportation, during Singapore Maritime Week 2024, both parties said in a joint statement on Thursday (18 April). 

This collaboration, spearheaded by YGT’s marine electrification business, marinEV, marks a significant step towards cleaner and more sustainable maritime operations in Singapore, with the following key milestones on the horizon:

Electric vessel deployments

  • First cargo delivery with an electric vessel in the Port of Singapore: marinEV and EPS aim to be at the forefront of maritime history by jointly facilitating the first cargo delivery using an electric vessel within the Port of Singapore. This aligns with both companies’ commitment to environmental responsibility and demonstrates their dedication to creating a net zero world.
  • First crew transfer with an electric vessel in Singapore: Recognising the critical role of crew transfers in maritime operations, marinEV and EPS will collaborate on the first crew transfer conducted by an electric vessel in Singapore. This trial will provide valuable data on the feasibility, efficiency, and safety of electric vessels for crew transportation, paving the way for wider industry adoption.

SMW 2024: Yinson GreenTech and EPS forge alliance on electric vessel trials

The Hydromover and Lake Herman

Building upon their commitment to sustainability, marinEV will enter into a collaborative agreement with EPS. This partnership aims to integrate electric vessels into last-mile delivery operations, significantly reducing Scope 3 emissions and contributing to a cleaner shipping industry. By jointly defining ambitious emission reduction goals, marinEV and EPS will work together to create a more sustainable future for maritime transportation.

“At Yinson GreenTech, we believe that collaboration is key to unlocking a cleaner future for our oceans. Our partnership with Eastern Pacific Shipping on these groundbreaking electric vessel deployments in Singapore signifies a major leap forward,” said Jan-Viggo Johansen, Managing Director of marinEV. 

“Together, we are not only making history but also paving the way for a future where clean and efficient transportation solutions become the norm. This is an exciting moment for us, and we are committed to working closely with EPS, our existing partners and other industry leaders to achieve a truly sustainable maritime landscape.

“It is heartening to see like-minded partners in the industry adopt the ‘act now’ approach like us, taking action and exploring innovative solutions on all fronts,” said Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer of EPS.

“This collaboration with Yinson GreenTech not only offers a greener transportation alternative, it also builds on the industry’s collective commitment to accelerate the decarbonisation of shipping. We don’t do things because they are easy. We do it because they are difficult so that we leave no stones unturned in our efforts to decarbonise.”

Related: Yinson GreenTech all-electric crew transfer vessel to undergo sea trials in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

Panel noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed.

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SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

The Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP) held its third annual meeting on 16 April 2024, during the Singapore Maritime Week 2024. 

This year, the Maritime IAP held in-depth discussions on the key developments in the maritime sector, including decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation and cybersecurity. 

Members of the panel who were present included Hiroaki Sakashita, President and CEO, ClassNK, Stephen Fewster, Managing Director, Global Head, Shipping Finance, ING Bank, Nick Brown, CEO, Lloyd’s Register, and Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Partner, Global Finance and Supply Chain Transformation Service Line Leader, IBM.

Established in 2022 by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Maritime IAP aims to seek international perspectives on key long-term trends and developments that will shape the maritime industry. 

It comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance. Local industry and union leaders also joined the meeting to share their perspectives.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

Key Trends and Opportunities for the Maritime Sector

The Maritime IAP highlighted that despite geopolitical uncertainties and supply chain shifts, there were significant opportunities for the global maritime sector in the following areas:

  • Accelerating the green transition towards a low- and zero-carbon future, supported by important enablers such as financing for green shipping;
  • Deepening the utilisation of technology and digitalisation while strengthening cyber resilience; and
  • Training and re-skilling the maritime workforce to take on the new job opportunities of the future.

The Maritime IAP emphasised that Singapore plays an important role in facilitating global trade flows, supporting global maritime decarbonisation, and advancing maritime digitalisation and cyber-resilience. 

Singapore’s position as a trusted and established maritime eco-system could catalyse green financing solutions, unlock the benefits of deeper utilisation of technology and data, and position it as a training hub to develop the skills needed by the future maritime workforce.

Strengthening Maritime Ecosystem Amid Global Shifts and Green Transition

Against the backdrop of global uncertainties, the Maritime IAP highlighted that Singapore could be an important trade and maritime intermediary, given its status as a neutral, trusted, and leading maritime hub. With growing trade to emerging regions as trade flows shifted, the panel believed Singapore would be an important conduit for new trades going forward. The panel further suggested for Singapore to become a trusted maritime technology hub for the development, installation, and accreditation of critical technologies, especially for those fitted onboard ships.

The Maritime IAP noted that amidst the ongoing green transition, there would be competing demands for various low- or zero-carbon fuels (e.g. hydrogen, ammonia, methanol) from other sectors.

The Maritime IAP highlighted the need to draw on a wide range of green financing instruments and investments to catalyse change, address hurdles and accelerate the sector’s green transition. 

The panel also noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed. To address the financing needs of the sector, the panel suggested for maritime stakeholders to pool their needs, while demand aggregation would help smaller companies gain better access to suitable solutions and financing, and also allow financial institutions to better determine and manage the risks involved.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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LNG Bunkering

GLBP submits permit applications to build and operate Galveston LNG bunker terminal

Small scale natural gas liquefaction facility will be the region’s first dedicated LNG bunker terminal to provide clean LNG as bunker fuel.

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Galveston LNG Bunker Port

Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP) recently announced that it filed applications with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) seeking authorization to site, construct and operate the proposed GLBP small scale natural gas liquefaction facility on Shoal Point in Texas City, Texas, in the heart of the Galveston Bay/Greater Houston port complex. 

The GLBP project will be the region’s first dedicated LNG bunker terminal to provide clean LNG as marine fuel.

Galveston LNG Bunker Port has filed key regulatory applications with relevant government agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the Clean Water Act and Rivers & Harbors Act, Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) for the Texas Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Water Quality Certification, and United States Coast Guard (USCG) for Waterway Suitability Assessment (WSA).

The USACE application for the proposed project includes two natural gas liquefaction trains capable of producing approximately 600,000 gallons per day of LNG; two 3-million-gallon full containment LNG storage tanks; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; feed gas pre-treatment facilities; a bunker vessel loading berth and associated marine and loading facilities.

“The Galveston LNG Bunker Port project continues to meet its milestones, and we are very excited to announce that the necessary permitting applications have been submitted,” said Shaun Davison, Chief Development Officer of Pilot LNG. 

“We are confident that we will meet the rigorous requirements of State & Local permitting authorities to ensure that the project is delivered on-time and will meet the ever-growing demand for clean fuel supply in the Galveston Bay, and US Gulf Coast region by the end of 2026.”

Pilot LNG and Seapath Group signed a project development agreement in September of 2023 that provides a framework for the development, technical design, permitting and marketing of the proposed liquefaction project, which is estimated to come online in late 2026. 

The global maritime industry is increasingly adopting LNG as a marine fuel to significantly reduce emissions and meet tightening regulations, including IMO 2020, which came into effect January 1st, 2020.

Joshua Lubarsky, President of Seapath Group, said: “Our experience in developing, building and operating energy infrastructure will help us with this much-needed facility.” Lubarsky continues “This facility is a critical investment into the resilience of the United States’ maritime infrastructure, and upon construction will immediately provide positive environmental and economic impacts in Texas City, Galveston Bay, and the US Gulf Coast.”

Ongoing development of the project is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. The final investment decision to proceed with construction is contingent upon completing required commercial agreements, acquiring all necessary permits and approvals, and securing financing commitments.

Related: Galveston LNG Bunker Port secures site in Texas for proposed LNG bunkering facility
Related: Seapath, Pilot LNG launch JV to develop dedicated LNG bunkering facility in US Gulf Coast
Related: Houston: Pilot LNG announces regulatory filing for Galveston LNG Bunker Port
Related: Pilot LNG submits documentation to USCG for proposed LNG Bunker Port at Galveston

Related: Pilot LNG awards Galveston LNG Bunker Port FEED contract to Wison Offshore & Marine

 

Photo credit: Galveston LNG Bunker Port
Published: 19 April 2024

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