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VPS, CMA CGM collaboration evaluates Singapore MFM compliance

07 Feb 2018

Fuel testing and inspection firm Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) on Tuesday says its mass flowmeter (MFM) monitoring services are able to evaluate the quality of MFM bunker deliveries in accordance to TR 48 at Singapore.

The MFM Quick Screen and its associated services are a result of a 2017 collaboration between VPS and shipping firm CMA CGM, while tapping on the expertise of an inhouse MFM technologist.

“The MFM Quick Screen was actually launched last year and the latest round of data acquired reinforces the work we have done,” Rahul Choudhuri, managing director at VPS Singapore told Manifold Times.

“There are other customers who are using this service already, but basically CMA CGM is a key customer helping us to develop this service.”

Christophe Lesnard, head of bunker control and claims, and Cristian Popescu, bunker owner representative, both working at the energy department of CMA CGM notes the MFM Quick Screen service introduces additional checks on an already robust TR 48 system.

“The partnership between CMA CGM and VPS in the development of these MFM monitoring services has assisted in providing real benefits and a higher level of transparency with respect to fuel delivery via MFM,” they say.

“All parties involved in a MFM bunkering operation need to learn on a daily basis to decode the generated data and identify potential weaknesses.

“CMA CGM and VPS actively sought to create and enhance dedicated tools, which led VPS to being currently at the forefront of MFM supplies monitoring services, with the Quick Screening of MFM profile.

“This general overview for each delivery with highly specialised flow of analysis provide an efficient support for the ship owner in identifying and settling any potential disputes.”

According to VPS, the MFM Quick-Screen data with CMA CGM has shown 72% of MFM bunker deliveries at Singapore complying with the TR 48 bunkering standard during 2017.

Non-compliance was either due to parameters such as tank stripping, line clearing, low cut-off values (LFC), minimum measured quantity (MMQ), minimum mass flow rate (Qmin), zero verification, damping, aeration, meter totaliser log, or a combination of the above.

Further, the MFM Quick-Screen can provide a more detailed MFM investigation to comprehensively prove the initial findings, including analysis of the MFM Profile ASCII file Raw Data and Transmitter Configuration Report.

“MFM technology for bunkering definitely works but this exercise also goes to show that checks and balances can be introduced to further improve the operating sphere,” explains Choudhuri.

“We are improving the technology and as years go by we expect things to get better; for example, it took over 30 years of fuel testing and monitoring to reduce issues with global fuel quality.

“Filling up a vessel with 1,000 mt of fuel and paying around half a million dollars is a very different operation from filling 50 litres of gas in your car.

“What the MFM Quick-Screen does is to introduce a mechanism for recourse should a shipowner decide to dispute.”

Published: 7 February, 2018

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