S’pore to remain no.1 bunkering port, helped by new guidelines

Singapore is set to keep its position as the world’s top bunkering port, with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) forecasting a record full-year sales volume of 33 to 35 million tonnes this year.

According to Transport Minister Raymond Lim, a total of 26.4 million tonnes of bunkers were lifted between January and September 2008, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same period in 2007.

Mr Lim revealed this at the 15th Singapore International Bunkering Conference or SIBCON, which coincides with Maritime Week 2008, on Wednesday.

The minister also unveiled a set of new guidelines and procedures for ship bunkering to ensure safety and efficiency in Singapore waters.

The new standard, the Singapore Standard SS 600: 2008 – Code of Practice for Bunkering, or SS 600 in short, is the world’s first national standard for bunker suppliers and surveyors.

Besides obtaining a licence from the MPA to conduct bunkering business in Singapore’s port, bunker suppliers, craft operators and surveyors will have to comply with SS 600 when carrying out their operations.

The standard will also serve as the technical basis for resolution, should there be any disputes.

The new standard, to be phased in by the second half of 2009, will benefit the industry as it rationalises requirements under two existing Singapore standards for bunkering and bunker surveying (CP 60 and 77) and streamlines the documentation processes. This makes it easier for bunker players to ensure compliance.

It will also ensure bunkers delivered comply fully with regulations under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and offer customers greater assurance of fuel quality, with new requirements in place to reduce sample tampering and fraud.

“By offering greater assurance to our global customers when they call at our port to lift bunkers, SS 600 will foster further development of the bunkering industry here,” said MPA’s Chief Executive, Brigadier-General (NS) Tay Lim Heng.

He also described Singapore’s bunkering industry as an important component of the maritime cluster, and an integral part of the country’s growth as a premier global hub port and an international maritime centre.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Oct 2008

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