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Update on Off-specification bunkers supplied in Singapore

News & Insights 9 May 2022

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Referring to our previous news item concerning the off-spec bunkers supplied in Singapore, we would like to update members that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has carried out an investigation and has published...

Asian ship crew on radio

Referring to our previous news item concerning the off-spec bunkers supplied in Singapore, we would like to update members that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has carried out an investigation and has published their findings on their website.

MPA investigation report reveals that the Fuel was found to contain high concentrations of COC, of up to 21,000 ppm. 

All MPA-licensed bunker suppliers in Singapore are required to test the fuel to ensure that it complies with international standards. MPA has established that this particular batch of fuel was also tested based on the international standards of petroleum products of fuel - International Organization for Standardization 8217 (ISO 8217), However, as the current international standards do not require tests for COC, the contamination was not promptly detected.

MPA has confirmed that necessary steps have been taken to stop the supply of the affected fuel in Singapore.

As a global bunkering hub, MPA takes bunker quality assurance seriously. MPA’s quality fuel assurance measures comprise the Bunker Quality Inspection System (BQIS) and the Intensified Bunker Quality Checks (IBQC). The BQIS tests the quality of bunker supplied to vessels while the IBQC tests bunker carried by bunker tankers before supply to vessels.

On average, over 1,300 bunker samples are tested annually under BQIS and IBQC to verify compliance with ISO 8217. While the occurrence of COC is rare in bunkers, MPA will include COC to the list of chemicals to be tested under both BQIS and IBQC with immediate effect.

MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) are currently in discussions with the industry on measures to strengthen the quality assurance of bunkers supplied in Singapore and will co-chair an industry expert group, which will include relevant professional bodies, to establish a list of chemicals to be tested and their corresponding concentration limits. The expert group is expected to make its recommendations on additional measures to strengthen bunker quality assurance of bunkers delivered in Singapore, on an urgent basis.

More information on the MPA’s investigation report and follow-up measures is available on their website, linked below.

Categories: Defence, Loss Prevention

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