New standard aims to support maritime’s shift to more sustainable fuels
The Singapore Standards Council launched a new Singapore Standard in November 2019 aimed at enhancing operational aspects of mass-flow meter (MFM) bunkering and supporting the bunker industry as IMO’s sulphur cap takes effect.
The new standard, SS 648 – Code of Practice for Bunker Mass Flow Metering is the first of its kind in the world. It is a revision of TR 48 – Technical Reference for Bunker Mass Flow Metering, which was the world’s first technical reference on bunker MFM. The new standard has an extended scope and application to cover marine fuel oil and distillates. It will be implemented from 1 May 2020.
Singapore has acted as a world leader in using Coriolis MFM to accurately assess the quantity of fuel transferred between bunker suppliers and buyers, increasing operational efficiency and transparency. These meters work by introducing a Coriolis acceleration into the flowing stream, measuring mass flow by detecting resulting angular momentum.
SS 648 aims to support the bunkering industry to transit to a low-sulphur fuel oil regime in January 2020, in support of IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap regulation. Enhancements on TR 48 include an expanded scope to include distillate fuels and bunkers that meet IMO’s regulations and new requirements for multi-meter installation, which enables bunker suppliers to offer a wider range of parcel sizes and grades of bunker fuels. It also covers enhancing the zero-verification procedure and strengthening the role of bunker surveyors.
The new standard is relevant for all stakeholders in the bunker supply chain, including vessel owners and operators, bunker tanker owners and operators, bunker suppliers and surveyors, maritime arbitrators, vendors of Coriolis MFMs and the MPA itself. It was developed by a working group comprising representatives from oil majors, bunker suppliers, shipowners, industry bodies such as the Singapore Shipping Association and the International Bunker Industry Association, testing labs, bunker surveyors, MFM suppliers, Singapore’s National Metrology Centre, Enterprise Singapore’s Weights and Measures Office, and MPA.
MPA senior director of operations and marine services Captain Daknashamoorthy Ganasen says “To enhance integrity and transparency of bunker operations in the port of Singapore, MPA mandated the use of mass flow meter for the deliveries of marine fuel oil from 1 January 2017 and the deliveries of distillates from 1 July 2019.
“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.”
Technical Committee for Bunkering chairman Seah Khen Hee adds “Metrology and system integrity are the twin foundations of SS 648 providing the base for MFM system approval and the bunker custody transfer process as detailed in the metering procedure.
“Extending these principles to bunker fuel transfer or delivery at oil terminals in a new Singapore Standard is the next major initiative to strengthen Singapore’s bunker supply chain and build trust and confidence in the Singapore bunker industry.”
Maersk Oil Trading Singapore (MOTS) installed the world’s largest MFM on two chartered vessels from barge owner Hong Lam Marine in January 2019. MOTS global head of commercial operations Captain Samir Fernandez says “The predecessor of SS 648, TR 48, has set the highest standards of transparency and accuracy for custody transfer of bunker fuels.
“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,” he adds.