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Thome Group: Zero bunker disputes at Singapore with MFM

27 Dec 2017

Singapore-based independent international ship management firm Thome Group simply registered no bunker quantity dispute case at Singapore this year, says the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of its Tanker Division.
‘I will say this has been a very positive step being taken by the government and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA),’ Ashish Malik told Manifold Times in an interview.
‘Usage of Mass Flow Meters and guiding regulations enforced by MPA, for bunkering operations in port of Singapore, have increased our confidence in the reliability of these operations. Quantity discrepancies, including those associated with cappuccino bunkers, had been our major concern earlier.
‘We have only one case, when there was some doubt, but otherwise we have not had any such case since the whole year.’
According to Malik, Singapore has always been Thome Group’s preferred port for bunkering and the use of MFM technology for bunkering has ‘definitely reduced headaches for us’.
The company currently manages a total of over 200 vessels, including more than 135 tankers.
Approximately fifteen vessels from the fleet sail by Singapore every week mostly for bunkering; with each vessel lifting an average of 1,000 metric tonnes (mt) of fuel per vessel.
Malik recalled an incident in 2015 when he boarded a vessel during to a bunker dispute.
‘I came to inspect the vessel and saw the Chief Engineer just standing at the accommodation and he immediately came to shook hands with me and I say: “What are you doing here?”’
‘He says: “Oh please have a look here!” The bunker tank was open and on looking in the tank I saw there was a lot of bubbles (cappuccino effect).
‘Our Chief Engineer immediately contacted the bunker supplier and gave the MPA hotline number a call as well and were fully supported by them.’
‘Without MFM, everybody had to be on their toes to tackle potential quantity issues.’
The compulsory use of MFM technology for fuel oil bunkering was made effective at Singapore since 1 January, 2017.

Photo credit: Thome
Published: 27 December, 2017

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