December 2, 2023
I am pleased to note the announcement from the Port of Rotterdam and Port of Antwerp-Bruges mandating the use of mass flow meters (MFM) from 2026 onwards. IBIA has always been vocal in our support of greater transparency in the bunker sector, with the use of MFM as one of the solutions.
As the digitalisation agenda continues to develop within the bunkering sector, the use of MFM will greatly support the streamlining of end-to-end bunkering processes including the use of electronic bunker delivery notes (BDN).
On this note, to further enhance the efficiency and transparency of the bunkering process in Singapore, the Maritime & Port of Authority of Singapore (MPA) has announced the launch of its digital bunkering initiative to implement electronic bunkering processes and documentations (including e-BDN) effective 1 November 2023. Singapore has conducted more than 100 trials since January 2023, involving more than 20 companies in the bunkering ecosystem.
Although this initiative will not be a mandatory requirement until end of 2024, MPA will use this period from now till then, to gather feedback to improve these solutions and work on other enhancement including automating the data flow from MFM.
During this period, licensed bunker suppliers, ship owners, operators and crew are encouraged to make use of mobile and cloud solutions approved by MPA to complete and issue the digital bunkering documents – these ‘whitelisted’ digital solutions will automatically relay bunkering-related information required by MPA, thereby streamlines workflow, increased productivity and enhances crew safety by eliminating the need for physical transfer of documents between vessels.
To support these developments and to facilitate digitalisation of current bunker processes within bunker supply chains, the industry-led Singapore Standards Council is developing a new specification for digital bunkering supply chain documentation and revising the existing SS648:2019 Code of Practice for Bunker Mass Flow Metering to incorporate electronic bunkering documentation.
Singapore, being a global bunkering hub, has always set the standard for other bunkering ports to follow, and we can look forward to more ports taking the lead from Singapore when it comes to embracing digitalisation within the bunkering sector.
Methanol Developments in Asia
Q3 of 2023 appears to set the pace for methanol bunkering in Asia. After the successful completion of a methanol bunkering supply in Singapore, it was announced that a methanol and ammonia bunkering standard that will cover refuelling, operational and safety requirements for the delivery of methanol and ammonia is being developed. The standard for methanol bunkering will take into consideration the experience Singapore has had from the methanol bunkering pilot and is expected to be ready by 2025.
In China, it was announced that, initiated by Chimbusco, the China Petroleum Circulation Association (CPCA) and the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) have released their first b standards for methanol bunkering operations and quality control.
The Marine Methanol Fuel Waterborne Refuelling Regulations and Marine Methanol Fuel are the first standards in China for methanol bunkering operations and quality controls.
The China Classification Society (CCS) and Bureau Veritas (BV) have also issued Approval-In-Principle (AIP) certificates to Chimbusco and Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry for a 7,800-ton dual-fuel powered green methanol bunkering vessel.
We are seeing an accelerated pace from the industry in this region, in their decarbonisation efforts and we look forward to supporting our members on this front – especially when it comes to training. I hope to provide an update on our training plans in the next issue.
Siti Noraini Zaini
Regional Manager, IBIA Asia
+65 6472 0916
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