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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2023: Methanol-based spill scenario organised for ICOPCE table-top exercise

Exercise scenario involved, for the first time, methanol spill at sea to prepare for methanol bunkering in Port of Singapore later this year; modelling study of plume clouds from released methanol was shown.

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ICOPCE

The 13th biennial International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference and Exhibition (ICOPCE) was held on Wednesday (26 April) at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week. 

Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the event was opened by Capt M. Segar, Assistant Chief Executive (Operations), MPA. 

Themed ‘Spill Strategies in a Decarbonisation Era’, the conference provided a platform for industry professionals to discuss spill strategies for alternative marine fuels, including best practices, safety challenges and crisis management. ICOPCE brought together more than 150 professionals from various government agencies, port operators, as well as industry players from the bunkering, petrochemicals, shipping, protection and indemnity, and emergency response sectors. 

Key speakers include Mr Christophe Logette, Director, Cedre, Mr Rob Boudestijn, Managing Director, Vopak Terminals Singapore, and Capt Clint Bout, General Manager and Head of Marine, Hafnia.

Methanol-based Spill Scenario for the ICOPCE Table-Top Exercise

A table-top exercise (TTX) was organised as part of the ICOPCE programme to provide an opportunity for participants to review existing safety measures and standards, identify potential gaps and new safeguards, clarify roles and responsibilities, and strengthen cross-agency coordination for an effective response to a chemical spill incident. This year’s TTX scenario involved, for the first time, methanol spill at sea to prepare for methanol bunkering in the Port of Singapore later this year. A modelling study of plume clouds that could form when methanol is suddenly released into the atmosphere during an incident or emergency was presented by MPA’s Port Chemist for participants’ awareness.

Participants also learnt about the specific hazards of methanol where a methanol flame is difficult to detect by sight, possible safety measures that could be adopted when handling the fuel, effective measures to detect and put out a methanol fire onboard a vessel, and the training of seafarers, operators, and engineers to reduce the risks of methanol handling.

Panos Koutsourakis, Vice President, Global Sustainability from ABS, said, “ABS is committed to supporting the safe adoption of methanol by the industry and today’s event is an important aspect of that. This year’s ICOPCE TTX provided participants with insights into the behaviour of methanol in a maritime operating environment and helped build confidence of how the maritime industry can safely manage its risks and hazards while achieving net-zero emissions. By working together to examine challenges and explore solutions, we can keep our industry in the forefront of the energy transition.

ICOPCE

Development of Safety Standards for New Fuels

A key pillar of Singapore’s multi-fuel future development is the safe handling of alternative new marine fuels. MPA, together with various research agencies and the industry, are developing the necessary safety standards and procedures to ensure safe and efficient bunkering operations of new fuels, including methanol and ammonia.

The ongoing key safety studies and plans related to Methanol include: 

  • Working Group on standard development for Methanol Bunkering – Appointed by Enterprise Singapore as the Standards Development Organisation, the Singapore Chemical Industry Council has formed a Working Group, in consultation with MPA, to develop a Technical Reference (TR) for methanol bunkering for Singapore. The TR will cover custody transfer requirements for delivery of methanol from the bunker tanker to receiving vessels, operational and safety requirements for methanol bunkering as well as crew training and competency. Discussions on the TR has commenced within the Working Group in April 2023 and it is expected to be ready in 2024.
  • Hazard Identification (HAZID) and Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) workshop – MPA will organise a HAZID and HAZOP workshop in May 2023 with methanol bunkering trial partners, working group members and relevant government agencies to develop prevention, control and mitigation methods, as well as safety and operational readiness standards required during the bunkering operation.
  • Full Deployment Exercise (FDX) – MPA will hold a FDX involving government agencies and the stakeholders in Q3 2023 to validate the effectiveness of the emergency preparedness, procedures, and responses for methanol bunkering.

Infrastructure for Methanol Bunkering

Since 2022, Singapore has completed more than 70 methanol loading and discharging operations for industrial use, measuring a total of more than 400,000 tonnes. These operations were conducted across 10 storage tanks at Jurong Island of varying capacities at Vopak Terminals, Stolthaven Terminal, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS) Terminal, and Chevron Oronite Terminal. These tanks can also be used to store methanol for bunkering requirements. 

Maersk Methanol Bunkering Operation Pilot in Port of Singapore 

First announced during the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) in 2022, Singapore’s first methanol bunkering pilot will be conducted with Maersk Oil Trading, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Energy Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd, and American Bureau of Shipping in Q3 2023. The pilot will be coordinated by MPA, who will work closely with the stakeholders, research community and national entities to ensure that the bunkering operation is carried out safely and securely. 

The lessons gleaned from this bunkering operation will inform the development of processes and procedures for other maritime fuels under consideration such as ammonia and hydrogen. 

As the port authority, MPA said it will continue to work closely with the industry and the research community to facilitate all trials and pilots of new marine fuels in the Port of Singapore and in conjunction with MPA’s green and digital shipping corridor partners.

 

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

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Biofuel

PIL vessel in bio bunker fuel trial transports containers with PSA Singapore

Containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel “Kota Ratna” and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

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PIL transports containers using bio bunker fuel in trial with PSA Singapore

PSA Singapore (PSA) and Pacific International Lines (PIL) on Wednesday (29 May) announced the completion of their first trial of low-carbon green shipments, in a joint effort to build a more sustainable end-to-end supply chain ecosystem.

This pilot trial is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October last year between the two long-standing partners to collaborate on green and sustainability solutions to decarbonise supply chains. 

The pilot consists of warehouse-to-warehouse cargo flow from Singapore to Chongqing via the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. The containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel Kota Ratna and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

Green levers utilised in this pilot include the use of biofuel on Kota Ratna as well as landside supply chain optimisation by PSA.

The biofuel used for this trial, a blend of 24% used cooking oil with very low sulphur fuel oil, abated about 100 tonnes of carbon, equivalent to planting 4000 trees, and reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 84.1%.

With first-hand data on carbon emissions obtained from this pilot trial, PIL will be better equipped to assess how it can further lower emissions from its vessel operations, not just for its existing ships but also for its eight new LNG dual-fuel container vessels that will be progressively delivered from end 2024.

The PSA Port Ecosystem Business Division leveraged container barging, a greener mode of transportation as compared to trucking, to haul cargo from PSA Jurong Island Terminal to Pasir Panjang Terminal for onward shipment towards Chongqing. 

In addition, the use of container handling equipment powered by electricity and greener alternative fuels at PSA’s ports reduced emissions in the port area.

The collaborative efforts by both partners across the end-to-end supply chain translated to planting one tree for every laden container moved across this value chain.

Philbert Chua, Managing Director, Container Division, PSA Corporation Ltd, said, “The successful completion of this green pilot project with PIL is an important step forward for the maritime and supply chain sector.”

“Combating climate change is one of our urgent priorities and PSA is committed to work with like-minded partners to put these words into action.”

“This concerted teamwork illustrates a step-by-step measurable approach to further decarbonise supply chains and has unlocked opportunities for accelerated action to achieve our net zero goal.”

Abhishek Chawla, Chief Marine Officer, PIL, said, “PIL is pleased to receive promising results from this low-carbon green shipments pilot trial with PSA.”

“With sustainability at the core of PIL’s operations, we are happy to join forces with PSA as we take concrete action to drive a sustainable future. The valuable insights obtained from this trial will empower PIL to further reduce our vessel emissions in the future, as part of our goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

“Working hand in hand with like-minded partners, we can augment each other’s sustainability efforts in creating greener shipping and providing a sustainable net zero model to our customers soon.”

 

Photo credit: PSA Singapore
Published: 30 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

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China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

China Marine Bunker (Petro China) Co., Ltd. (Chimbusco) and Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. on Thursday (23 May) signed a strategic cooperation agreement to jointly carry out research on the application of marine biofuels and promote pilot projects on the application of biodiesel. 

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. has long been committed to the research and development of comprehensive utilisation of natural oil resources, forming an oil resource recycling industry chain of "industrial oils-biofuels (biodiesel)-biobased materials". 

Qin Ling, secretary of the Party Committee and general manager of Chimbusco said with the implementation of increasingly stringent emissions laws and regulations, the company is actively responding to and adapting to domestic development needs. 

“Through strategic cooperation, the company is locking in the future demand for biofuels,” he said. 

Pingyuan, chairman of Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. said that both firms will rely on their respective advantages and resources and seize new opportunities for carbon reduction in shipping. 

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: Zhangjiagang Bonded Zone (Jingang sub-district) Party and Government Office
Published: 30 May 2024

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Wind-assisted

MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel “Shofu Maru” continuously on actual voyages and confirmed Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

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MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. on Monday (27 May) announced their intent to install wind propulsion systems on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk. 

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel Shofu Maru continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

The fuel saving and GHG reduction effect of the Wind Challenger depends on various conditions such as the type of vessel and the shipping route.

MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11.

Among the seven vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, six new bulk carriers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger. Construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for three of the six vessels, and preparations are under way for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

In addition, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two Ventfoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch firm EconoWind B.V., on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery 2025 and operation under a time charter.

MOL has established the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2" and has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. One of the key strategies to achieve this target includes the "introduction of clean energy, further energy-saving technologies," and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.

 

Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 30 May 2024

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