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ZeroNorth consolidates existing bunkering business following acquisitions 

ZeroNorth Bunker will consolidate its 13 existing product offerings into six core products spanning Bunker Planning, Bunker Procurement, Bunker Supply and Trading, Bunker Pricing and e-BDN solutions.

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Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director, ZeroNorth Bunker,

Marine technology company ZeroNorth on Tuesday (14 November) announced that it is consolidating its existing bunkering business under the ZeroNorth brand, to offer faster value delivery for customers, and driving enhanced data-driven insights, additional fuel savings, improved profit margins and emissions reduction.

ZeroNorth said it recognised the importance of digitisation across the entire bunker value chain to accelerate the decarbonisation of the shipping industry. 

“To this end, the past 18 months have seen ZeroNorth invest heavily in the bunkering space, acquiring Clearlynx, Prosmar Bunkering and BTS to serve all parts of the market. The integration into ZeroNorth Bunker will see one unified team come together under a single brand, creating synergies across the different solutions to enable faster release of new features that respond to market needs,” it said in a statement shared with Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times

ZeroNorth Bunker is consolidating the company’s 13 existing product offerings into six core products spanning Bunker Planning, Bunker Procurement, Bunker Supply and Trading, Bunker Pricing and electronic bunker delivery notes (e-BDN) solutions.

“These solutions will facilitate data-driven decisions for customers, with this integrated approach bringing transparency and continuity to customers’ bunkering processes and delivering an enhanced user experience,” the firm added. 

Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director for ZeroNorth Bunker at ZeroNorth, said: “Leveraging real-time market insights and with 50 million tonnes of bunkers already traded annually on the platform, we take pride at ZeroNorth in our ability to drive positive change in the bunkering industry. This includes accelerating digitalisation and transparency in the sector, which ultimately contributes towards our customers’ decarbonisation and commercial goals.”

The firm added ZeroNorth Bunker turns millions of live data points into actionable recommendations by optimising the bunkering process.

“More robust insights will be generated for customers through this integrated approach, as more data is being interpreted which will in time enable the data flywheel effect, delivering a positive feedback loop.”

“The platform will be able to deliver deeper, more granular insights into bunker optimisation, reducing fuel consumption and associated costs and emissions for customers, driving benefit for both profit and planet.”

Manifold Times previously reported ZeroNorth acquiring BTS PTE Ltd., a software platform for marine fuel suppliers, headquartered in Singapore.

The deal saw ZeroNorth acquiring BTS’s flagship suite of services - iBMS (Intelligent Bunker Management System) - which is software specially tailored for the marine fuel supply chain.

iBMS was one of the first projects supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) under the Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund (MINT) in the early 2000s.

BTS is currently one of the three digital solution providers in MPA’s current list of approved digital bunkering solutions. MPA launched its digital bunkering initiative on 1 November 2023, becoming the first port in the world to implement e-BDN.

Last year, ZeroNorth launched ZeroNorth Bunker, an integrated solution for bunker planning, procurement, and analytics services. The firm said ZeroNorth Bunker enabled data-driven decision-making across a transparent marine fuel value chain.

Related: Singapore set to become first port in the world to debut electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: MPA Chief Executive: Port of Singapore begins digital bunkering initiative today 
Related: ZeroNorth acquires Singapore’s bunker supplier software provider BTS
Related: ZeroNorth acquires Prosmar Bunker Dashboard solution and Bunker Pricer module
Related: ZeroNorth acquires US-based bunker market platform ClearLynx
Related: ZeroNorth unveils ZeroNorth Bunker for bunker planning, procurement, and analytics
Related: ZeroNorth opens new office in Singapore to expand in Asia

Photo credit: ZeroNorth
Published: 15 November, 2023

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SMW 2024: Digital bunkering the way forward for shipping sector, agree panellists

MPA, ZeroNorth Bunker, Ocean Network Express, Working Group on Electronic Documentation for Bunkering, and SSA spokesmen offer respective thoughts.

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SMW 2024: Digital bunkering the way forward for shipping sector, agree panellists

Digital bunkering brings positive contributions to the shipping industry, agreed panellists at the recent Accelerating Digitalisation & Decarbonisation Conference held in Singapore on Tuesday (16 April).

The group, representing various stakeholders of the marine fuels supply chain, shared their perspectives during the Digital Transformation session of the event held as part of Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2024.

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)

“It is quite clear to us digital transformation is going to be part of maritime sector,” said Thomas Ting, Director (Technology & Innovation) / Chief Digital Officer, MPA who added the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in July 2023 announced acceptance of electronic bunker delivery notes for both soft and hard copies.”

“We conceptualised this digital bunkering initiative since 2020 and have been talking to bunker buyers, sellers, traders, and other parties to understand their pain points and while doing so discovered obvious benefits technology brings to the marine fuels industry.”

Mr Ting, who was also moderator of the session, shared MPA launched digital bunkering in November 2023.

“We did it because we believe the industry has and could come up with the solutions and for this transformation to take place, we have to start with available technology to date,” he explained.

“We have already announced four whitelisted solutions for electronic bunker delivery notes and there are other vendors coming up.”

ZeroNorth Bunker

Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director, ZeroNorth Bunker said the technology company, amongst four whitelisted firms providing e-BDN solutions, had the pleasure of engaging with Singapore-based physical bunker suppliers and barge operators in the past four to five months.

“We performed a lot of engagement activities to explain the benefits of having a e-BDN solution to partners including chief engineers and bunker surveyors. I really see the e-BDN solution as an accelerant to other digital solutions as there are so many benefits for all parties out there,” he said.

Juhls pointed out the international maritime sector has been closely following the e-BDN development in Singapore.

“We see a lot of interest and everybody is asking us what is it all about and how will that impact us as bunker buyers. We also see other bunker suppliers in other locations keen to learn more about e-BDN,” he noted.

“Moving forward, we need to adapt the e-BDN solution and engage port authorities around the world. There is a lot of work for solution providers with a lot of investments needed; it’s not going to be easy but definitely doable. The shipping industry will eventually lean into this due to all the benefits.”

Ocean Network Express (ONE)

Richard Ho, Deputy General Manager (Fuel Department), ONE agreed on the benefits of e-BDN and proceeded to provide examples.

“Bunker supply operations are one of most complex delivery processes in shipping due to the huge amount of money and paperwork guided by several regulatory requirements including documentation for surveyors, suppliers and the local port authority,” he said.

“All these jobs create a lot of paperwork which doesn’t stop at end of delivery and continues even after payment of bunker invoices.

“We buy bunker fuel from various ports in the world where some of the traditional paper based BDNs look very different. It takes a team of six to seven people to cross-check these BDNs two to three times to verify various parameters, and the whole process takes several hours to complete.”

According to Mr Ho, e-BDNs paired with mass flowmeters (MFMs) simplify the bunkering process and create a sense of trust between counterparties.

“There is no cost to us as a shipowner; in fact, there are cost savings. With e-BDNs we now have verified and validated information from a single source of truth – which is the MFM – to minimise potential fraud and save time from excessive checks.

“Digital bunkering and e-BDN, which are well aligned with the ONE Digitalisation strategy, is going to have a huge impact on how we do things.”

Working Group on Electronic Documentation for Bunkering

Dennis Ho, Co-Convenor, Working Group on Electronic Documentation for Bunkering, pointed out the rollout of e-BDNs will help push the introduction of a digital bunkering supply chain documentation standard in Singapore – which is currently under public consultation.

The standard specifies requirements for the main types of digital documents utilised and exchanged within bunkering supply chains, aligning with established business practices and bunkering standards.

“The digital bunkering supply chain documentation standard is not just about e-BDNs,” he said, while adding, “it also includes 15 other documents involved in the bunkering process.”

“The working group will continue to do regular reviews and updates when it comes.

“This is just the start of this Standard. As the industry begins to adopt the Standard, we will continue to review the Standard and make updates.”

Mr Ho, who is also the Managing Director of bunker trading firm ElbOil Singapore Pte Ltd, noted commercial banks such as UOB, DBS, together with the Association of Banks in Singapore, have been involved in the creation of the documentation standard.

“We are planning a series of public engagement for the digital bunkering supply chain documentation standard to clear any doubts,” he stated.

“Our hope is eventually, other ports will adopt this standard. Adding on, we recognise the industry players will take time to adopt, hence, we have made the Standard to be backwards compatible as a requirement.”

Singapore Shipping Association

Apostolos Boutos, Marine Fuels Committee Chairman, Singapore Shipping Association stated digital bunkering brings many benefits to both bunker suppliers and ship owners within the maritime ecosystem but highlighted work still needs to be done in certain key areas.

“A lot of shipowners and buyers are still lagging behind in digital bunkering trials and we have to convince them digital bunkering is beneficial,” he pointed out.

“Also, there is the question of who pays for the cost. The responsibility of the bunker barge operator, ship owner, or bunker suppliers as the technical provider for the e-BDN solution is progressively addressed.

“Network connectivity within the port plays a pivotal role in digital bunkering. Gaps in network connectivity, where disruption occurs in some areas of the anchorage where the mobile network is not so strong and of the receiving vessel’s structure interfering with the network connection of the bunker tanker are areas currently being addressed. Though it must be mentioned all e-BDN solution providers offer an offline option too.

“Data security and ownership are also topics being discussed at SSA. Further, there are several e-BDN solution providers in Singapore. Regarding crew training, what happens when a bunkering firm is using solution ‘A’ but another vessel using solution ‘B’ for e-BDN? A current suggestion is for workflow between all e-BDN solution providers to be relatively similar and forms to be standardised.”

Editor’s note: For more information SSA has prepared a detailed FAQ on Digital Bunkering in Singapore which covers various aspects related to the eBDN implementation. The full FAQ document can be found at the SSA website (https://www.ssa.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/vAprSMW-FAQ-on-Digital-Bunkering-Final.pdf)

Related: IBIA: MEPC 80 confirms acceptance for electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: Singapore set to become first port in the world to debut electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier
Related: Singapore: EnterpriseSG issues call for public comments on digital bunkering supply chain documentation
Related: Former PA to Hin Leong Trading Founder refutes OK Lim’s claim on his role in firm

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 30 April 2024

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ZeroNorth: Singapore’s pioneering e-BDN bunkering project makes waves internationally

‘This is very much commercially driven as parties in the regions are still trying to figure out how e-BDNs are relevant for their respective locations,’ Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director of ZeroNorth Bunker tells Manifold Times.

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Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director, ZeroNorth Bunker,

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA)’s pioneering electronic bunker delivery note (e-BDN) project for the republic’s maritime sector has been steadily gaining attention from      overseas, observes the Managing Director of digital bunkering platform solutions provider ZeroNorth Bunker.

“We currently see interest from bunker buyers, shipping firms, barge owners and operators, fuel suppliers and a few port authorities based at the ARA, Mediterranean, Middle East, and the U.S. who are all eyeing to see how the e-BDN project at Singapore turns out,” Kenneth Juhls told Manifold Times.

“This is very much commercially driven as parties in the regions are still trying to figure out how e-BDNs are relevant for their respective locations.”

According to Juhls, recent implementation of the Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor (GDSC) would suggest that the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region would be the “next step” to expand e-BDN bunkering operations.

“I see ARA as a good next step to expand e-BDN. ZeroNorth is very keen to engage with all port authorities to share knowledge and hands on experience based on the deployment of e-BDN bunkering operations at Singapore,” he said.

“Obviously, we would love to have a full end-to-end digital solution where the e-BDN is receiving verified information from the mass flowmeter (MFM) so there is no manual intervention; much like Singapore port.

“However, in practise one does not need a MFM-equipped bunker tanker to be able to perform e-BDN bunkering operations.”

Juhls explained digital bunkering platforms are also designed to be adaptive to different situations by allowing manual entry of data in certain circumstances.

“In Singapore, we are still in the integration phase of seamlessly connecting MFM data to the e-BDN system. In the interim, manual data entry, where personnel the tablet to take a photo of the bunker metering ticket and the eBDN app using OCR technology to auto extract the data receipt and key similar information into the tablet, is still being performed,” he said.

“In my understanding, phase two of MPA’s e-BDN integration will look into eliminating this action.”

Moving forward, Juhls says that he wishes for the shipping industry to adopt e-BDN solutions at a quicker pace.

“Singapore is the biggest bunkering port, and thus is a perfect location to kickstart momentum on e-BDN. But we also need to include the whole shipping industry for      it to work well,” he said. “We hope that together we’ll be able to spur faster global adoption of e-BDN and enable widespread digital transformation.”

Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects

 

Photo credit: ZeroNorth
Published: 24 April 2024

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Singapore: TradeGo becomes fifth whitelisted e-BDN solution provider

TradeGo now joins ADP Clear, Angsana Technology Pte Ltd, ZeroNorth (BTS Pte Ltd) and Bunkerchain in MPA’s whitelisted Digital Bunkering solutions providers.

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RESIZED bunker tanker singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) recently added TradeGo Pte Ltd and its solution, BunkerGo, to the list of approved digital bunkering solutions for the implementation of electronic bunker delivery note (e-BDN) in the republic. 

TradeGo now joins ADP Clear, Angsana Technology Pte Ltd, ZeroNorth (BTS Pte Ltd) and Bunkerchain in MPA’s whitelisted Digital Bunkering solutions providers.

Kitty Li, Regional Director of TradeGo, said TradeGo, a Singapore-based eBL platform, dedicated to digitising international trade processes, aims to offer paperless and innovative trade services to users across various trade-related sectors such as energy, mineral and metals, and shipping. 

“TradeGo, as the only digital platform globally to support both eBL and e-BDN services, is capable to integrate its eBL solution to provide digital services for innovative trade finance business for bunker suppliers, as well as to support for green shipping to maritime participants,” Li told Manifold Times.

Manifold Times previously reported Singapore becoming the first port in the world to implement e-BDN when MPA launched its digital bunkering initiative on 1 November 2023.

Licensed bunker suppliers, ship owners, operators and crew are encouraged to utilise the mobile and cloud solutions approved by MPA to complete and issue digital bunkering documents, which can save close to 40,000 man-days per year for the bunker industry. 

Over 100 e-BDN trials have been conducted since January 2023, involving more than 20 companies in the Singapore bunkering ecosystem. Feedback from users will continue to be gathered to improve these solutions with plans to make digital bunkering a mandatory requirement by end 2024. 

Meanwhile, MPA will continue to explore and work with the industry on other enhancements, including automating the data flow from Mass Flow Meters.

MPA also published guidelines for the use of digital bunkering service for the bunker supplier, bunker craft operator and the vessel receiving bunkers as well as a sample of eBDN issued in Singapore.

In February, Singapore shipping line Pacific International Lines (PIL), together with Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex), signed three separate MOUs with PIL’s bunker suppliers including TFG Marine, KPI OceanConnect and bp respectively, at maritime conference TechWaves.

The MOUs pave the way for PIL and SGTraDex to explore opportunities with each bunker supplier in bunkering supply chain digitalisation, furthering the adoption of eBDN solutions and enhancing the bunkering ecosystem. 

In the same month, classification society DNV announced its digital bunkering delivery platform, FuelBoss, was in the process of being whitelisted by MPA.

Related: Singapore: MoUs on digital bunkering and eBDN signed at TechWaves conference
Related: DNV FuelBoss coverage expands to include conventional bunker fuels, whitelisting by MPA in process
Related: Singapore: MPA adds ADP Clear as whitelisted solution provider for e-BDN
Related: Singapore set to become first port in the world to debut electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: MPA Chief Executive: Port of Singapore begins digital bunkering initiative today
Related: Singapore: MPA publishes guidelines for bunker suppliers in preparation of e-BDN launch
Related: ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier
Related: Photo essay: e-BDN trial of “One Truth” at Singapore port
Related: Hong Lam Marine ‘fully supportive’ of e-BDN implementation for Singapore bunkering sector
Related: ONE completes e-BDN adoption trial with Shell in Port of Singapore
Related: Singapore: Golden Island switching to 100% e-BDN operations from 1 December
Related: IBIA: International Maritime Organization confirms acceptance for electronic BDNs (update)
Related: IBIA: MEPC 80 confirms acceptance for electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: IBIA: IMO sub-committee accepts use of electronic BDNs after long discussion

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 April 2024

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