Digital transformation is the way forward for every stakeholder in the bunker fuel supply chain, states the Business Process Consultant – Bunkering & Fuel Supply Chain at Endress+Hauser.
Mohamed Abdenbi was addressing delegates at the 9th Biennial Bunkering in Asia conference on Tuesday (3 September) when he noted on a need to harmonise the measurement method along the bunker fuel supply chain for increased accountability, transparency and efficiency.
“There are currently 134 HFO barges, 65 MGO bunker tankers, and 3 LSFO bunker tankers operating at Singapore as of 1 August 2019 – all equipped with MFMs,” he said.
“The question is what should come next?”
According to Abdenbi, MFMs installed on barges should be equipped with intelligence for measuring and transferring data for higher level processes.
Endress+Hauser has been engaged in trials over 18 months between 2017 to 2018 in preparation for an electronic bunker delivery note (e-BDN) system to be implemented by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
“The e-BDN will provide greater productivity, efficiency and transparency in the bunkering process and help Singapore keep its position as the leading bunker port,” he says.
“Once we have the possibility to bring data to MPA servers or other applications we could monitor bunkering operations using a dashboard where real-time flowrate, air index value, temperature of fuel, and more could be shared instantaneously on your screen.”
However, for digitalisation to deliver all its potential benefits it must be integrated throughout the whole supply chain.
“This is where installation of MFMs at various hotspots within the bunker fuel supply chain to monitor fuel oil transfer in and out from the terminal, the mass balance and the possible losses due to leakages or theft makes a lot of sense,” he says.
“The next logical point is to have MFMs installed on the shore side to measure quantity of fuel loaded from the terminal to the bunker barge.
“There is already a working group to develop standards for MFM for the loading of bunker fuel using MFM onto barge.”
More terminals in the world such as those in Belgium, South Korea, Sweden, Singapore, Indonesia are also using MFMs to enhance visibility and transparency within their respective oil supply chains, he adds.
A special mention was terminals in Turkey which have MFMs connected to the tax office to record oil transferred.
“We can help the industry unlock the physical field into digital data to generate valuable process knowledge and help our customers in their decision making,” he said.
Photo credit: IBC Asia / 9th Biennial Bunkering in Asia
Published: 5 September, 2019