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Singapore: MPA investigation traces contaminated bunker fuel back to source at Port of Khor Fakkan

Glencore purchased fuel through Straits Pinnacle which contracted supply from Unicious Energy. Contaminated HSFO was loaded at Khor Fakkan port and shipped to a FSU in Tanjong Pelepas, Malaysia to be further blended.

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (5 May) issued an update on the contaminated bunker fuel situation at Singapore:

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was notified on 14 March 2022 that a number of ships had been supplied with High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) containing high concentration levels of Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC) (1,2-Dichloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene) in the Port of Singapore. MPA has conducted investigations and identified the source of the contamination.  

Investigation Findings

The HSFO containing high concentrations of COC was traced back to fuel purchased by Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd (Glencore) in January and February 2022. Glencore had purchased the fuel through Straits Pinnacle Pte Ltd [1] (Straits Pinnacle), which had contracted its supply from Unicious Energy Pte Ltd [2] (Unicious). The contaminated HSFO was loaded at the Port of Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates (UAE) onto a tanker and shipped to floating storage facilities in Tanjong Pelepas, Malaysia to be further blended. The blended HSFO was subsequently delivered to storage facilities in Singapore. Part of the blended HSFO was also sold by Glencore to PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd (PetroChina).

To ascertain the source of contamination, MPA tested fuel samples taken from various sources, including the tanker which delivered the HSFO from the Port of Khor Fakkan, fuel blending facilities, and storage facilities of Glencore and PetroChina. Fuel onboard the tanker was found to contain high concentrations of COC, of up to 21,000 ppm. Forensic fingerprinting analysis of the fuel samples taken from the tanker showed a match with the samples taken from several affected ships that had taken HSFO from Glencore and PetroChina. The forensic fingerprinting analysis established with reasonable certainty that contaminated fuel onboard affected ships had likely come from the same source of fuel onboard the tanker that was loaded at Port of Khor Fakkan, UAE. 

All MPA-licensed bunker suppliers are required to test the fuel to ensure that it complies with international standards. MPA has established that both Glencore and PetroChina, as MPA-licensed bunker suppliers, had carried out tests on the fuel supplied based on the international standards of petroleum products of fuel - International Organization for Standardization 8217 (ISO 8217) [3]. However, as the current international standards do not require tests for COC, the contamination was not promptly detected [4].   

PetroChina and Glencore have since promptly taken the necessary steps to stop supplying the affected fuel. MPA has not received any report of fuel containing high COC supplied by the two suppliers since 31 March 2022. 

In light of this incident, MPA encourages bunker buyers to request for enhanced fuel testing for COC from their bunker suppliers. MPA is also conducting further testing of both Glencore and PetroChina’s fuel samples. 

Follow-up Measures

As a global bunkering hub, MPA takes bunker quality assurance seriously. MPA’s quality fuel assurance measures comprise the Bunker Quality Inspection System (BQIS) and the Intensified Bunker Quality Checks (IBQC). The BQIS tests the quality of bunker supplied to vessels while the IBQC tests bunker carried by bunker tankers before supply to vessels. On average, over 1,300 bunker samples are tested annually under BQIS and IBQC to verify compliance with ISO 8217. While the occurrence of COC is rare in bunkers, MPA will include COC to the list of chemicals to be tested under both BQIS and IBQC with immediate effect.

MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) are currently in discussions with the industry on measures to strengthen the quality assurance of bunkers supplied in Singapore. MPA and SSA will co-chair an industry expert group, which will include relevant professional bodies, to establish a list of chemicals to be tested and their corresponding concentration limits. The expert group is expected to make its recommendations on additional measures to strengthen bunker quality assurance of bunkers delivered in Singapore, on an urgent basis. 

MPA has also raised this issue at the international level. At the recent International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee (MSC105) working group meeting on ‘Measures to enhance safety of ships related to use of fuel oil’ held between 20 and 29 April 2022, MPA has informed the meeting that a paper on the recent contamination case will be submitted in due course for Member States’ awareness.

[1]: Based on ACRA records, Straits Pinnacle is a Singapore-registered company focusing on wholesale trade of a variety of goods.

[2]: Based on ACRA records, Unicious is a Singapore-registered company that conducts international trading of petroleum, petrochemical products and bulk commodities.

[3]: ISO 8217 - International Standards Petroleum products — Fuels (class F) — Specifications of marine fuels – Table 2.

[4]: ISO 8217 notes that the marine industry continues to build on its understanding of the impact of specific chemical species and the respective critical concentrations at which detrimental effects are observed on the operational characteristics of marine fuels in use. It also states that it is not practical to require detailed chemical analysis for each delivery of fuel beyond the requirements listed in Table 1 (distillate marine) or Table 2 (residual marine) in the Standard.

Related: Singapore bunker contamination different from earlier Houston cases
Related: MPA: Glencore and PetroChina supplied contaminated bunkers to about 200 ships in the Port of Singapore
Related: Singapore Shipping Association issues statement to members regarding recent contaminated HSFO bunker cases
Related: VPS provides update on bunker fuel contamination cases in Singapore
Related: Bureau Veritas answers questions on Chlorinated Compounds in HSFO from Singapore
Related: FuelTrust: Latest bunkering contamination at Singapore validates need for early warning system
Related: VPS identifies potential bunker fuel contamination crisis unfolding at Singapore
Related: Gard members and clients find chlorinated hydrocarbons in Singapore bunkers

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 5 May, 2022

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Ammonia

Singapore: EMA, MPA shortlist two consortia for ammonia power generation and bunkering

Chosen consortia are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, NYK Line and Sumitomo Corporation.

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The Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (25 July) said they have shortlisted two consortia that will proceed to the next round of evaluations of proposals to provide a low- or zero-carbon ammonia solution on Jurong Island for power generation and bunkering. 

The two consortia were selected from a total of six that were earlier shortlisted in 2023 to participate in a restricted Request for Proposal (RFP), following an Expression of Interest (EOI) called in 2022. The bids were assessed based on the technical, safety and commercial aspects of their proposals. 

The two consortium leads are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Sumitomo Corporation. The two consortia will proceed to conduct engineering, safety and emergency response studies for the proposed Project.

At the next phase, we will select one of the two bidders as the lead developer of the project. The lead developer will develop the end-to-end ammonia solution comprising (i) generating 55 to 65 MW of electricity from imported low- or zero-carbon ammonia via direct combustion in a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine; and (ii) facilitating ammonia bunkering at a capacity of at least 0.1 million tons per annum (MTPA), starting with shore-to-ship bunkering followed by ship-to-ship bunkering. 

Given the nascency of the technology and global supply chains, the Government will work closely with the appointed lead developer to implement the Project. We aim to announce the lead developer by Q1 2025.

The project is part of Singapore’s National Hydrogen Strategy launched in 2022, which outlines Singapore’s approach to develop low-carbon hydrogen as a major decarbonisation pathway as part of the nation’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

A key thrust of this strategy is to experiment with the use of advanced hydrogen technologies that are on the cusp of commercial readiness. Ammonia is currently one of the most technologically-ready hydrogen carriers with an established international supply chain for industrial use.

“If successful, the project will position Singapore as one of the first countries in the world to deploy a direct ammonia combustion power plant and support the development of ammonia bunkering for international shipping, EMA and MPA said.

“This will help to unlock the potential of low-carbon ammonia as a low-carbon fuel.”

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 July 2024

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LNG Bunkering

China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

The 14,000 cubic metre ship, “Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang”, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) for Huaihe Energy Holding Group.

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China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

China’s river-to-sea LNG bunkering vessel, which was built locally, was named and delivered in Shanghai on Monday (19 July), according to the Shanghai Association of Shipbuilding Industry (SASIC). 

The 14,000 cubic metre (cbm) ship, Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd for Huaihe Energy Holding Group as part of China’s "Gasification of the Yangtze River” project.

The ship is capable of travelling through the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge all year round and has been dubbed a “Customised Yangtze River” LNG refuelling and transportation ship.

The ship is equipped with the B-type LNG containment system independently developed by Hudong-Zhonghua and authorised by a national patent.

According to SASIC, this was the first time such a system has been applied to a domestic LNG  refuelling and transportation ship, marking a major breakthrough in the B-type LNG containment system developed by China with independent intellectual property rights.

Related: China’s first river-sea LNG bunkering ship completes inaugural bunkering operation

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.

 

Photo credit: Shanghai Shipbuilding Industry Association
Published: 25 July 2024

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Environment

Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

“Hafnia Nile” and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged “Ceres I” collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.

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Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

Shipowner Hafnia, the operator of Singapore-flagged tanker Hafnia Nile, is in discussion with The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on a safe location to transfer the ship’s cargo, MPA said on Wednesday (24 July). 

They are also discussing towage plans for repairs to be approved by MPA.

Hafnia Nile and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged Ceres I collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.

“An additional tug with deep-sea towing capacity has arrived on site on 23 July 2024, joining four other tugs equipped with oil response and firefighting capabilities,” MPA said. 

In a meeting with MPA on 23 July, Hafnia informed MPA of light oil sheens near Hafnia Nile

“As part of the towage plan, Hafnia will arrange for repairs, containment and clean-up of the assessed localised seepage,” it added.

Reuters reported Hafnia stating that an initial assessment by a team of specialists conducting inspections of damaged areas of the tanker, showed Hafnia Nile's engine room had suffered damage from the fire.

Hafnia also reportedly said a salvage team has boarded the vessel and transferred equipment from one of the attending tugs on site to contain and stop any localised seepage.

Manifold Times previously reported Ceres 1 allegedly leaving the site of the collision as of 20 July and turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) but was believed to be in Malaysian waters.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was able to locate Ceres 1 some 28 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Tioman.

Related: “Ceres 1” goes dark after collision with Singapore-flagged tanker, located by MMEA
Related: MPA: Fire breaks out on two ships near Pedra Branca, search and rescue underway

 

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 25 July 2024

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