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Singapore grants tankers extension approval tests for older mass flowmeter systems

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has made available alternative extension approval tests to validate already installed mass flowmeter (MFM) systems on tankers.

The MPA says tankers that had been fitted with MFMs three years ago and require recalibration for compliance can now utilise an alternative extension approval test in order to validate the systems against current requirements, Platts reports.

A spokeswoman told Platts that MPA, along with TR48 technical experts, had developed an "extension approval test to validate the MFM systems as an alternative to recalibration which will minimise downtime and reduce costs."

Barge operators are said to have been concerned that the MFM recalibration would require pulling their barges out of operation for multiple weeks in order for the meters to be sent to SPRING Singapore's recognised testing laboratories, many of which are located in Europe.

As of this month, five bunker tankers are reported to have utilised the extension approval test, which is conducted on board and does not require the bunker tanker to be taken out of service.

Owners of the vessels EmissaryOigawa, and Marine Kingsly are all said to have confirmed that they were among those to have received the extension approval test, receiving a one-year extension as a result.

"The extension helped as it cut the downtime of the barge to a few days, and we could resume operations soon after," said Desmond Chong, general manager at Sinanju Tankers, owner of Marine Kingsly.

In January, MPA made the use of MFMs mandatory for its bunkering operations as the first port in the world.