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Singapore to make mass flowmeters mandatory

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has confirmed it plans to make the use of mass flowmeters mandatory for bunkering in the port of Singapore.

'We are finalising some of the implementation details and will make an announcement when it is ready,' says MPA's marine services department assistant director Ang Chin Chin. She declined to give a specific time frame however, adding that it would need to go through an industry consultation process before being phased in.

Elaborating on the implementation process, Ang says it would be built into the licensing requirements for bunker suppliers. It will be implemented in two phases, with suppliers likely to be asked to install the meters for new buildings after a fixed date while current tankers would see the meters phased in over a one-to-two year period as installation is expected to take between four-to-six weeks per vessels. In line with this, it is also expected that a Singapore Standard will be developed for the use of mass flow metering, Ang added.

With regard to possible resistance to the system, Ang says: 'Shipowners pay for the bunkers they want and it will promote a level playing field. Once they see the benefits they will come back.'

Hong Lam Marine CEO Lim Teck Cheng also notes that the system, which it has already installed on two barges, will create fair trading conditions. An additional benefit for both bunker suppliers and ship owners is that it will also lead to a faster turnaround time which can save up to three hours compared to other methods of bunker measurement.