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Singapore launches MFM bunkering standards to meet IMO 2020 requirements

Seah Khen Hee Chairman, Technical Committee for Bunkering
Singapore has launched a new standard for mass flow metered (MFM) bunkering to cover low sulphur fuels as the IMO 2020 regulation comes into force at the start of next year.

As the world’s largest bunkering port Singapore was the first to mandate the use of MFM for bunkering in 2017 and the new SS 648 Code of Practice for Bunkering Mass Flow Metering expands on the 2015 Technical Reference TR 48 to cover marine fuel oil and distillates.

The new SS 648 standard includes requirements for multi-meter installation, which the Singapore Standards Council said would enable bunker suppliers to better meet the needs of bunker buyers by enabling the delivery of different grades of bunker fuels.

Choy Sauw Kook, director-general (quality & excellence), Enterprise Singapore, said, “SS 648 is a result of close engagement and dialogue sessions with stakeholders from the bunker supply chain to address new challenges that arose from practical usage following the implementation of TR 48. SS 648 supports companies in the bunker supply chain by ensuring bunker operations are trusted, efficient, and aligned to IMO regulations.

The Singapore authorities introduce MFM bunkering for marine fuel oil at start of January 2017 and for distillates from 1 July this year.

Daknashamoorthy Ganasen, senior director (operations & marine services division) for the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said, “While we received positive feedback on quantity assurance, we continue to work closely with our stakeholders to prepare the bunkering industry for IMO 2020 and beyond. It is therefore important that the relevant standards, such as TR 48 and its upgraded version, SS 648 stay relevant and up to date.”

Bunker supplier Maersk Oil Trading plans to only use the SS 648 standard where it is mandatory in Singapore, but also for its operations worldwide.

Samir Fernandez, global head of commercial operations, Maersk Oil Trading Singapore, said, “It is not just about fitting a better piece of equipment, but aims to encompass a total system of trust within an industry otherwise fraught with ambiguity. The new Singapore Standard matches Maersk’s core value of Constant Care so closely that Maersk Oil Trading is aiming to become the first physical supplier in the world to enforce SS 648 procedures on our barges globally.”