Singapore unveils new bunkering initiatives

OCTOBER 6, 2016 — The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), took yesterday's opening of the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) as the opportunity to unveil several new initiatives that form part of Singapore's continued efforts to enhance bunkering processes and prepare the bunkering industry to meet future demands—including LNG bunkering.

Leveraging technology to improve bunker deliveries

Mandatory adoption of Mass Flow Meters (MFM) for all bunker deliveries in the Port of Singapore: MPA previously announced the mandatory adoption of MFM for Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) deliveries in the port from January 1, 2017. MPA is on track for implementation with 110 bunker tankers already approved to perform MFO deliveries through MFM in the Port of Singapore.

More than 23 bunker tankers have also been scheduled for installation and testing over the next two months. Moving ahead, MPA will put in an additional Singapore $0.5 million to fund the test-bedding of the use of MFM for Distillates deliveries. Trials have commenced and an update will be provided in the first quarter of 2017.

Increasing productivity in Singapore's bunkering industry

With the introduction of electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (e-BDNs), important bunkering information can be transmitted almost instantaneously to both buyers and sellers. MPA has been conducting field tests on e-BDNs which will greatly improve the productivity of the industry as processes such as invoicing and payments will become more efficient. MPA will continue to work with the industry to roll out this initiative in 2018.

Preparing the Port of Singapore for LNG bunkering in the longer term

Singapore is working towards the launch of the LNG bunkering pilot programme in early 2017

MPA and Singapore LNG Corporation Pte Ltd (SLNG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday to collaborate on an interim truck loading facility, which will be used to service LNG bunkering. The facility will also be used to serve a variety of other industries that may require small volumes of LNG to be transported over land. MPA has committed up to approximately Singapore $2 million to co-fund the development of this facility, which will be operationally ready by early 2017.

MPA is working with SPRING Singapore to develop the Technical Reference (TR) for Singapore's LNG bunkering standards. This TR will be launched in early 2017, providing a reliable and transparent framework for LNG bunkering operations.

Of the S$12 million allocated for the co-funding programme for LNG-fuelled vessels, a total of S$8 million has been awarded to Harley Marine Asia Pte Ltd, Keppel Smit Towage Pte Ltd and Maju Maritime Pte Ltd. The types of vessels that will be built include tugboats and bunker tankers.

To encourage the uptake of LNG bunker by local harbour craft, MPA will waive five years of port dues for new LNG-fueled harbour craft that register with MPA between October 1, 2017 and December 31, 2019 and will also grant an additional 10% port dues concession for vessels qualifying for its Green Port Program that engage LNG-fueled harbor craft for their port operations.

Forging partnerships to drive the LNG bunkering agenda globally

An international focus group was formed in 2014 to cooperate on LNG bunkering. MPA will now be expanding the original MoU, which initially comprised the ports of Singapore, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zebrugee, to include the Port of Jacksonville, Norwegian Maritime Authority, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan, and the Ulsan Port Authority, Republic of Korea. This MoU will deepen cooperation and information sharing in relation to LNG bunkering.

As the group works towards building a network of LNG bunker ready ports across the Asia-Europe shipping route, the increased representation of Asian ports will add impetus towards making LNG bunkering a reality in the future.

In addition to cooperation with ports, an inaugural LNG Bunkering Roundtable was held on October in conjunction with SIBCON. It was attended by more than 80 senior executives from key organizations across the LNG bunkering value chain.

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