The President of Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) shared members’ international concerns for the first six months of IMO 2020 during her presentation at the 9th Biennial Bunkering in Asia conference on Tuesday (3 September).
Caroline Yang, also the Chief Executive of Singapore-based bunker tanker owner and operator Hong Lam Marine, noted members were concerned over global locations for debunkering of non-compliant fuel, “as adequate facilities were not available at every port”.
The issue of marine fuel contamination and co-mingling during bunker supply due to the non-availability of data on fuel makeup (i.e. paraffinic, asphaltic, and aromatic) also meant shipowners and operators – with limited fuel storage tanks on vessels – having to separate similar bunker grades delivered by different suppliers.
“We currently have about 200 bunker tankers in Singapore waters where we expect most bunkering vessels to carry only one product primarily because of the mass flowmeter (MFM) bunkering system,” she explains further.
“If you carry two products, you are going to have two MFM systems installed on board and that is costly. The indications from clients is they will only have one product on board their vessels. So there should be no contamination during supply.
“The concern is about the consistency of the blend of fuels across different, and also the same supplier, over a period of time.”
Meanwhile, Yang said SSA members were also concerned about potential slow results from marine fuel testing laboratories; especially in the event when vessels encounter a quick turnaround time at ports.
“Labs will give priority to their own clients and we recommend non-contracted clients to have dialogues with preferred labs about getting indications on for timing for results,” she advises.
“Some of the labs are able to produce various tests within 4 to 8 hours which are good times. The labs, especially those in Singapore, are ready for IMO 2020.”
Yang, in her opinion, believed low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) to be the main bunker fuel used by the shipping industry moving forward.
“We do see that LSFO is going to be in demand compared to MGO (marine gas oil); if possible, these shipowners do want to lift LSFO,” she forecasts.
“However, some very small owners [initially] fear stability and compatibility of fuel, but in time to come I believe everyone will come to consume LSFO.”
Photo credit: IBC Asia / 9th Biennial Bunkering in Asia
Published: 5 September, 2019