SINGAPORE, April 27 (Reuters) - Singapore will extend the mandatory use of mass-flow-meters to bunker barges delivering distillate fuels to large ships, the port authority said on Friday, ahead of an expected pick-up in the use of distillates to meet caps on sulphur content.
Singapore, the world’s largest marine refuelling hub, became the first port to mandate the use of mass-flow-meters (MFMs) in 2017, making them compulsory for marine fuel oil bunker barges licensed by the Marine Port Authority (MPA).
Along with a crackdown on short deliveries to bunker fuel customers, the meters have improved transparency for buyers and helped boost Singapore’s status as a refuelling port.
“The use of the MFM system will enhance transparency in the bunkering process, improve operational efficiency and increase the productivity of the bunkering industry,” the MPA said in a statement.
“This will also prepare the industry for an expected increase in delivery of distillates with the introduction of a 0.5 percent global sulphur cap from 1 January 2020 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” said captain M. Segar, assistant chief executive at the MPA.
The IMO’s new rules will significantly cut the amount of sulphur that the world’s ships can burn in their engines.
Middle distillate fuels, such as marine gasoil, generally contain less sulphur than fuel oil, which has been the main fuel used in large ocean-going vessels, and are expected to be used increasingly to meet the new restrictions.
The use of MFMs for distillate deliveries will be made compulsory from July 1, 2019, the MPA said.
Singapore set record sales volumes of marine fuels in 2017 for a third straight year. (Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; editing by Richard Pullin)