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SMW 2024: MPA receives 50 submissions for EOI to supply methanol bunker fuel in Singapore

Over 60 regional and international companies, comprising energy firms, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EOI, says MPA.

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SMW 2024: MPA receives 50 submissions for EOI to supply methanol bunker fuel in Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday (17 April) updated participants on Singapore’s methanol and ammonia bunkering capability developments, and net-zero pathways for the domestic harbour craft sector at the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference. 

MPA said it received a total of 50 submissions, out of which 40% of them proposed end-to-end solutions covering all three areas highlighted in the expression of interest (EOI) for the supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore.

The EOI sought proposals covering three areas; methanol supply, methanol bunkering operating model at commercial scale, and alternatives to the physical transfer of methanol molecules to Singapore, to enable a resilient fuel supply to meet the needs of methanol-capable vessels in Singapore in the coming years. 

“Over 60 regional and international companies comprising energy companies, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EOI, which MPA said signalled clear business confidence in Singapore as a key offtake location for methanol by international shipping,” it said. 

The EOI was launched last year following the completion of the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering in Singapore in the same year.

Based on consultations with the industry, MPA said the demand for methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore can potentially exceed one million tons per annum (MTPA) before 2030, subject to the pace of developments of supply chains, infrastructure, and regulations globally.

The proposals received for the low carbon methanol supply and delivery are promising, with several projects already in operation or have crossed Final Investment Decision. 

On aggregate, these projects have the potential to supply over one MTPA of low-carbon methanol by 2030, subject to commercial decisions and global developments. 

Many of the companies plan to use ready storage infrastructure in Singapore and will partner craft operators to build or procure bunker tankers capable of carrying and delivering methanol, taking into consideration MPA’s safety and quality assurance standards, crew training requirements, and methanol bunker tanker specifications. 

The proposals received provide strong indications that the industry is preparing for methanol bunker demand to scale up in the coming years, most notably seen in the scheduled delivery of Type II bunker tankers capable of supplying methanol this year.

Insights from the EOI submissions will inform the development of the methanol bunkering regulatory framework to ensure the safe and efficient supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore at a commercial scale. 

MPA and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), through Singapore Standards Council (SSC), are developing national standards on methanol and also ammonia bunkering. 

The standards aim to ensure the safe operations and handling of these fuels and will support the maritime industry’s transition to sustainable alternative fuels. They span areas including custody transfer requirements, operational and safety requirements for the delivery of methanol and ammonia from a bunker tanker to receiving vessels, as well as crew training and competencies. The standards for methanol are expected to be published by EnterpriseSG in 2025. 

MPA’s regulatory framework for methanol bunkering licence is expected to be finalised in the coming months. MPA will call for applications for a licence to supply methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore by the end of the year.

“MPA will work closely with the consortiums on the selected chain-of-custody proposals on pilots that assess the feasibility of these approaches and methods, with the aim for further development on a global scale,” it added.

Development of ammonia bunkering capabilities

In March 2024, the world’s first ocean-going ammonia-powered vessel, Fortescue Green Pioneer, successfully conducted its first fuel trial in Singapore4 over a period of six weeks. 

The Fortescue Green Pioneer received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the ‘Gas Fuelled Ammonia’ notation by classification society DNV to use ammonia, in combination with diesel, as a marine fuel. 

A second tranche of three tonnes of liquid ammonia will be loaded for the Fortescue Green Pioneer to conduct further tests and trials over the next few weeks.

MPA and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) are currently reviewing proposals to develop an end-to-end solution to provide low- or zero-carbon ammonia for power generation and bunkering on Jurong Island. 

The proposals were submitted by the shortlisted consortiums from MPA and EMA’s EOI in a restricted Request for Proposal(RFP). The bidders will be further shortlisted and MPA and EMA will work with the

selected parties on the pre-Front End Engineering Design (pre-FEED) study for ammonia import terminals, ammonia bunkering and ammonia power generation. The pre-FEED is intended to confirm the technical and economic feasibility of the project before MPA and EMA select a lead developer for the project with the government by Q1 2025.

MPA will also be inviting shipping companies with intentions to transport ammonia, or which are already transporting ammonia, to participate in an open non binding Request for Information (RFI) to quote the shipping and insurance cost of ammonia from potential source locations to Singapore. Participants may identify ammonia demand hubs between the source country and Singapore in order that the demand can be aggregated to reap economies of scale in the shipping of ammonia. 

Interested parties are invited to visit https://go.gov.sg/mpa-rfi-ammonia-transport to access the RFI document. Submission will close on 17 May 2024, 2359 hrs (Singapore time).

Electrification transition of domestic harbour craft fleet

In January 2024, MPA announced three vessel charging concepts to be piloted in Singapore following the call for proposal to develop, operate, and maintain electric harbour craft (e-HC) charging points in Singapore. 

The first charging point pilot, installed by Pyxis and SP Mobility, was recently launched at Marina South Pier.

Insights from the data collected will contribute towards the development of a national e-HC charging infrastructure masterplan, implementation plan, and national standards for e-HC charging infrastructure. MPA is also working with Enterprise Singapore, industry stakeholders and academia to develop a Technical Reference (TR) for e-HC charging and battery swap system. The draft TR is now available for public consultation via https://go.gov.sg/mpa-tr-ehc-charging.

In February 2024, MPA also shortlisted a total of 11 passenger launch and cargo lighter vessel designs following an EOI for e-HC design proposals. 

MPA is currently working with Research Institutes and Institutes of Higher Learning to enhance the various vessel designs and reduce their energy requirements. When ready, the reference designs can be progressively marketed, and production orders aggregated from the industry. This is expected to reap overall cost savings for companies making a transition to e-HC.

MPA has received 12 financing and seven insurance proposals in response to the EOI launched in October 2023 to support early adopters of e-HC. 

Several banks have expressed interest in offering direct debt financing options for harbour craft owners. The response to the EOI has also affirmed the strong interest from financial institutions and intermediaries in offering alternative financing solutions beyond debt financing to support the sector’s transition to e-HC. In the next phase of the EOI process, MPA will issue a closed call for proposals to shortlist the alternative financing proposal(s) for implementation. MPA will share more on the next steps in the next few months.

The insurance related submissions have highlighted that the proposed insurance premiums for e-HC are comparable to that of conventional harbour craft. To address the feedback received from EOI participants who had submitted insurance proposals, MPA will be consulting the industry to put in place supportive mechanisms to help right-price the premiums. These mechanisms could include setting up of a data repository platform, development of training programmes to promote safety awareness and best practices for e-HC operations, as well as establishing quality assurance framework(s) and mechanisms.

Aside from electrification, biofuel blends of up to B50 are already commercially available. In 2023, 520,000 tonnes of biofuel blends were supplied, which more than tripled from 140,000 tonnes in 2022. MPA is working with industry to develop the standards for up to B100, which is expected to be completed by 2025.

Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: Fortescue successfully conducts world’s first ammonia bunker fuel trial in Singapore
Related: Singapore to select developer for low-carbon ammonia solution for power generation and bunkering
Related: SMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: MPA launches first pilot trial for electric harbour craft charging point in Singapore
Related: Singapore: MPA calls for proposals to design electric harbour craft
Related: MPA: Singapore to trial vessel charging concepts for electric harbour craft
Related: Singapore: MPA shortlists 11 proposals for fully electric harbour craft EOI
Related: MPA: Financiers and insurers ready to support electrification of the domestic harbour craft sector

Other links related to SMW 2024: 

Related: SMW 2024: Ken Energy and Green COP partner to advance bio bunker fuels in Singapore
Related: SMW 2024: Seatrium, A*STAR to explore new energies and AI for offshore and marine uses
Related: SMW 2024: Pacific Environment, Ulsan Port Authority to accelerate zero-emission shipping and ports
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister
Related: SMW 2024: MPA partners with S&P Global and Bunkerchain in digital ship identity
Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 18 April 2024

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Methanol

VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.

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Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor

 

Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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Methanol

Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, Transmar and Orascom Construction will develop a green methanol storage and export facility, which will provide bunkering solutions for mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels.

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Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, a facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with container shipping line and terminal operator Transmar and global engineering and construction contractor Orascom Construction for the development of a green methanol storage and export facility. 

AD Ports Group said the facility will aim to supply low-carbon fuel for maritime transport, presenting an opportunity to establish clean alternative energy storage solutions globally.

Green methanol is a synthetic fuel produced renewably and without polluting emissions, and can be produced from green hydrogen. This chemical compound can be used as a low-carbon liquid fuel and is a promising alternative to fossil fuels in areas where decarbonisation is a major challenge.  

Aside from the maritime industry, green methanol can help decarbonise other hard-to-abate industries, including chemical and plastics. 

“The addition of a facility in this area will provide bunkering solutions for those mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels and is aligned with AD Ports Group’s overall decarbonisation strategy and expansion into clean energy liquid bulk storage,” the Group added.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, CEO – Maritime & Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: "By signing this MoU with Orascom Construction who have vast international experience in bulk liquid terminals for Methanol storage, and Transmar, who have decades of expertise in this region and within terminal operations, AD Ports Group and its subsidiaries are taking a significant step towards the sustainable future of energy.”

“This initiative not only aligns with the UAE's decarbonisation goals but also accelerates the energy transition in shipping, positioning us at the forefront of the green hydrogen revolution and enabling us to contribute to global environmental stewardship and economic diversification."

 

Photo credit: AD Ports Group
Published: 29 May 2024

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