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The American Club issues bunkering best practices to prevent spread of COVID-19

Club offers practical advice for bunkering operations, and handling mandatory sampling which is taken during the bunker supply operation in the presence of all parties.




sergio souza

Maritime mutual protection and indemnity organisation The American Club on Tuesday (7 April) published a circular outlining best practices for bunkering operations to ensure the safety of crew and limit the spread of COVID-19:   


COVID-19 has created a number of challenges for shipowners relevant to compliance with the January 1, 2020 amendments to the MARPOL 73/78 Convention, Annex VI, regulation 18, Fuel Oil Quality. 

The “MARPOL delivered sample” as per MARPOL73/78, Annex VI, regulation 18 is the mandatory sampling which needs to be taken during the entire bunker supply operation in the presence of all parties, i.e. vessel personnel, bunker supplier and, if present, the bunker inspector (see the attached diagram). 

It is important that all parties involved should establish prior knowledge about the local regulations of the port in which the bunkering is to take place. 

The shipowner’s surveyor, vessel’s Chief Engineer or other representative, charterer’s surveyor and bunker supplier representative should then agree to a COVID-19 survey protocol, including their policies in regard to physical contact, before bunker operations are commenced. At a minimum, the protocol should address, but not necessarily be limited to, the following elements of best practice, taking account of Chapter 1 of the Club’s Bunkering—A Compendium: 

  1. “Social distancing” measures already recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be implemented – individuals standing at least six feet (two meters) apart from each other; 
  2. All involved should wear the proper PPEs including masks, goggles, and gloves as per paragraph 8.4 of ME%.1/Circ.875/Add.1, Guidance on Best Practice for Fuel Oil Suppliers for Assuring the Quality of Fuel Oil Delivered to Ships); 
  3. The bunker station should be disinfected before and after the operation. All vessels should already be equipped with disinfectants appropriate for COVID-19. Disinfection should include flanges, ends of bunker hoses, valve handles, handrails, platforms etc. If a vessel does not have chlorine-based disinfectants, they should be ordered from appropriate suppliers; 
  4. The ends of bunker hoses and flanges should be disinfected as soon as hoses are swung aboard;
  5. Gangways, handrails and access areas should be cleaned and disinfected; 
  6. Shore personnel should not be allowed into the vessel’s accommodation other than at a designated place such as the cargo control room, stevedores’ offices, etc. which are specifically identified as areas under hygienic control; 
  7. When bunkering, no physical contact should be made with barge personnel, and all paperwork should be handled with latex gloves;
  8. Crew members should be reminded to wear PPE at all times when taking drip samples and drip sample equipment should always be disinfected prior to use; 
  9. Sample bottles should be disinfected before they are handed to shore personnel;
  10. All coveralls should be laundered following completion of the bunkering operation. 

Use of cameras or video recorders in lieu of personnel being on site during bunkering and fuel sampling 

In lieu of bunkering personnel being physically present onboard the vessel for the duration of the bunkering operation, and the collection and securing of bunker samples, shipowners, charterers and bunker suppliers may consider the use of explosion-proof cameras or video recorders. Subject to mutual agreement between the parties, the taking, sealing and tagging of samples might be witnessed through a camera or video recorder and the exchange accomplished without the need for bunker barge crew to come on board the vessel.

If cameras or video recorders are to be used, a protocol should be established for how these recordings are shared between the shipowner, charterer and the bunker supplier. 

Members are reminded that the Club maintains dedicated website space containing a range of information and updates on both the COVID-19 virus and bunkering, respectively, at: and  

A full copy of the circular is available for download here.

Photo credit:
Sergio Souza
Published: 9 April, 2020


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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.





RESIZED bunker tanker singapore

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.





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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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.





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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