October 1, 2014
The Singapore Bunkering Symposium during the Singapore Maritime Week 2014 witnessed the latest developments in the bunkering world as Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, announced that Singapore would be the first port in the world to mandate the use of mass flow meters for bunkering. This means that the Port of Singapore (which recorded a bunker sales volume of 42.7 million tonnes in 2013 alone) will set a new standard for bunkering practices worldwide.
Not only will using mass flow meters for bunkering minimise illegal bunkering activity and make the bunkering process more transparent, but it will also help in improving the entire industry's productivity and efficiency. The net result cannot but be a better assurance to bunker buyers and suppliers on the quality of bunkers delivered, and consequently, the strengthening of Singapore's reputation in the world as a top bunkering port. As Mr Andrew Tan, MPA Chief Executive, said at the Singapore Bunkering Symposium, taking this step is a significant milestone for the industry, and also puts Singapore in the lead by consolidating her renown as a reliable and trusted port.
In order to develop and validate its use in bunkering and thereby ensure that the system is suitable for use in bunkering, MPA and SPRING Singapore have formed a joint Working Group, which has conducted extensive trials of the mass flow meter system beginning in 2011. Furthermore, in implementing the mandatory mass flow meter system, MPA has also closely consulted the bunkering industry through the Singapore Shipping Association and the International Bunker Industry Association, many of whose members are supportive of this new initiative.
As a result of these new developments, bunkers suppliers will have to use the mass flow meter system for bunker delivery of Marine Fuel Oil from 1 January 2017. All existing bunker tankers must also be fitted with an MPA-approved mass flow meter system for Marine Fuel Oil delivery by December 2016. After 31 December 2014, all new bunker tankers applying for the Harbour Craft (Bunker Tanker) Licence will also have to be fitted with an MPA-approved mass flow meter system for Marine Fuel Oil delivery. To incentivise industry players to adapt to the new system quickly, MPA will pay a lump sum of S$80,000 for each existing bunker tanker delivering Marine Fuel Oil once it has been fitted with an MPA-approved mass flow meter system.
One can only expect that with these latest developments, Singapore and her port will continue to be at the forefront of the bunkering industry.