IBIA welcomes MPA’s efforts over MFM system integrity
The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) welcomes the efforts of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to ensure the integrity of the mass flow meter (MFM) systems that are mandatory for supply of marine fuel oil (MFO) in the port. News emerged this week that the MPA has temporarily suspended the harbour craft licences of five bunker tankers operated by Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd. while investigating irregularities found on their piping fixtures. An MPA spokesman told IBIA that the authority conducts regular spot checks on bunker tankers. “MPA will continue with our checks on bunker tankers to ensure compliance to the requirements set out in the Technical Reference for Bunker Mass Flow Metering (TR48).” Since the start of the year, only bunker barges with MPA approved MFM systems are allowed to supply MFO to ships taking bunkers in the port. The MPA has emphasised that the technology will enhance efficiency compared to bunker deliveries using manual methods for measuring delivered quantity. Equally important, however, is that requiring barges to use tamper-proof, MPA-approved MFM systems should enhance transparency of the bunkering process, providing accurate and reliable measurements of delivered quantity. Bunker sales in Singapore totalled 4.46 million metric tonnes in January 2017, the highest ever for any month, according to MPA data. Sales for the first two months of 2017 are up 8% year-on-year, which may indicate that buyers find the MFM mandate reassuring. IBIA believes that Singapore’s mandatory MFM requirement will help create a level playing field in the port, as it should reduce the risk of quantity-related malpractices.