Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, presided over the opening ceremony of the 18th Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON), organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). In conjunction with SIBCON, Minister Liu also officiated the global launch of the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), a new non-governmental organisation established to promote safety and industry best practices in the use of gas as a marine fuel.
This year’s SIBCON theme, “Driving Transformation in the Marine Fuel Industry”, aptly describes the current industry trends and developments. Addressing an international audience during the opening ceremony, Minister Lui said that the bunkering industry has to grapple with a rather challenging environment. In the face of these challenges, we must look towards the adoption of new technologies and new modes of operation, and seek to transform the bunkering industry such that we can ensure continued growth in a sustainable manner.
MPA introduced several new initiatives at SIBCON as part of Singapore’s continued efforts to enhance our bunkering processes and prepare the bunkering industry to meet the demands of the future. These included:
Ensuring Availability of ECA-compliant fuel in the Port of Singapore
The sulphur limit in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) will be reduced from 1% to 0.1% with effect from 1 January 2015. To ensure that bunker buyers are able to lift fuel that comply with the requirements imposed in the ECAs, MPA has been working with the industry to make ECA-compliant fuel available here. The Port of Singapore will be ready to supply ECA-compliant fuel by 2015 when the new sulphur limits come into play.
Preparing for LNG Bunkering
To establish safety and operation protocols for LNG bunkering, MPA will be commencing work on a pilot programme by early 2017 with interested parties of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunker supply chain. MPA will provide funding of up to $2 million per vessel for up to 6 LNG-fuelled vessels for the pilot programme.
There are several established modes of LNG delivery such as the use of iso-tank containers, ship-to-ship transfer and terminal-to-ship transfer. For the purpose of this pilot programme, MPA is evaluating the most cost-effective mode of LNG delivery to test and establish operational standards and procedures. This will ensure that Singapore is ready for LNG bunkering in the future.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, MPA said, “The bunkering industry is an important and integral part of our global hub port. As a top bunkering port, we will continue to raise our bunkering standards to ensure fuel quality and reliability. MPA continues to work closely with all our stakeholders to address the key issues and prepare the bunkering industry for the future.”