Sustainable Bunkering in the Port of Singapore


The Port of Singapore continues to gear up for future needs of the bunker industry. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the two-day Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) features key international speakers and brings together bunkering professionals, academic experts and high-level industry executives to exchange ideas on current trends and the future of the bunker industry.

Themed “Fuelling Sustainable Shipping”, the 20th SIBCON had more than 1,800 participants from over 50 countries.

In his opening address, Senior Minister of State, Dr Lam Pin Min, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health announced initiatives by MPA to ready the Singapore bunker industry ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s 0.5 per cent global sulphur cap taking effect from January 2020 and to support R&D in alternative fuels, as well as digitalisation.

Participants will gain insights on trending issues such as global fuel availability, compliance options, enforcement regimes, and the developments for LNG as a marine fuel.


Information sheet on fuel availability

To prepare the industry for the 0.5 per cent global sulphur limit, MPA will publish an information sheet on the list of licensed bunker suppliers of low-sulphur fuels in Singapore by mid-2019. The information sheet will be made available online.

Several bunker suppliers and oil majors including Shell, ExxonMobil and BP have also affirmed their readiness to supply 0.5 per cent compliant fuels by 1 January 2020.

New work group to chart the future direction of our bunker industry

MPA will form a new work group with the industry to embark on an industry road mapping exercise to prepare the Singapore bunker industry for the future. Chaired by MPA, the work group will develop a roadmap that will include drivers such as digitalisation and innovation, and transparency and productivity in the sector. The work group will work towards completing the roadmap by fourth quarter of 2019.


Release of guidance document by LNG bunkering port focus group

In 2014, MPA formed an international focus group to deepen cooperation and information sharing on LNG bunkering. Since then, the LNG bunkering port focus group has grown from three to 11 participants [1]. To provide guidance to the industry on the readiness of LNG bunkering facilities at each port, the focus group released an infographic jointly developed by the members (see Annex A).

First Middle East port joins the LNG port focus group

To add greater impetus towards making LNG bunkering a reality, today the MPA also welcomed the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority, the first member from Middle East, into the focus group. The expansion was formalised via an MoU signing during the SIBCON opening ceremony. The addition of Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority will strengthen efforts towards building a global network of LNG bunker ready ports.

USD 3.64 million for Green Energy Programme

Beyond the use of LNG as a marine fuel in the Port of Singapore, the MPA has allocated S$5 million to the Green Energy Programme (GEP) to support the development of other cleaner alternative marine fuels. Companies can tap on the fund to carry out various activities including the conduct of research and development for cleaner marine fuel solutions in Singapore.


Separately, MPA recently joined SEA\LNG’s membership coalition to further drive and align MPA’s efforts with the global LNG bunkering supply chain. SEA\LNG is a global coalition of players in the LNG shipping value chain who works collaboratively to drive the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. By joining SEA\LNG, MPA hopes to foster greater confidence in the availability and reliability of LNG as a marine fuel now and in the future.


Mandatory Use of Mass Flow Meters (MFM) for bunker tankers to deliver distillates in the Port of Singapore by 1 July 2019

Earlier this year, MPA announced the mandatory use of mass flow metering (MFM) system for delivery of distillates  in the Port of Singapore from 1 July 2019, following the successful implementation of MFM for marine fuel oil. The use of the MFM system enhances transparency in the bunkering process, improves operational efficiency and increases the productivity of the bunker industry.

MPA has commenced the acceptance tests to roll out MFM on bunker tankers for the delivery of distillates. The first test was successfully completed in September 2018 and MPA is working closely with owners to schedule acceptance tests for all distillates bunker tankers. MPA is on track to implement the mandatory use of MFM on all bunker tankers delivering distillates by 1 July 2019.

Increasing productivity in Singapore’s bunker industry

In the coming months, MPA will pilot an electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (e-BDN) to drive greater productivity, efficiency and transparency in the bunkering process. e-BDNs allow important bunkering information to be transmitted almost instantaneously to both buyers and sellers. MPA will continue to work with the industry to roll out this initiative as early as 2020.


Separately, MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) have formed a joint industry working group to further enhance the integrity and transparency of the bunker supply chain in the Port of Singapore. The working group will engage in efforts towards providing the industry with greater assurance and confidence in preventing marine fuel theft. Efforts would be geared towards developing and recommending pragmatic measures both in the short and long term.

Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, MPA said, “This year marks the 20th edition of the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) and it remains the key global platform to provide thought leadership for the industry. In light of the International Maritime Organization’s global sulphur limit from 1 January 2020, Singapore is committed to ensure a sufficient and broad range of solutions available to ship owners. As the world’s leading bunkering hub, MPA will continue working closely with all stakeholders to ensure that Singapore is well positioned for 2020 and beyond.”

Sea News, October 3

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News