Block Chain to Check Bunker Quality and Sales from January


  • Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) announced the scale-up of its blockchain-based maritime fuel system in January through a subsidiary.
  • With the introduction of LSFO, the uncertain availability of quality bunker fuel is a  challenge concerning all stakeholders in the supply chain.
  • BLOC’s demonstrator model follows a unique methodology for developing solutions, using collaborative projects with maritime industry insiders.
  • After the success of its first demonstrator stakeholders are invited to join and co-sponsor the next phase expected to begin in January 2019.

A consortium of maritime bunker fuel companies has established a system of delivering low sulfur fuel to ships using a system of pre-approved partners within a blockchain community. The consortium includes fuel supply, approval, and consumer companies, says a report.

Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL) has announced that it will be scaling up the use of its blockchain-based maritime fuel quality assurance and sales system in January. The company is inviting potential partners to join the group as the upscaling phase starts in earnest.

The LSFO Impact

The year 2020 could be a seminal year for the maritime community with the introduction of low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) for all vessels; the uncertainty for owners about the availability of bunker fuel and its quality are challenges that will concern all stakeholders in the supply chain.

Possible risks from improperly blended fuel

Quality fuel is a key element for ship operators as the LSFO will be blended. If the quality standard is low or the blend is not correct vessels could suffer from engine damage or worse, engine failure, a scenario that could strand millions of dollars worth of cargo at sea, which in turn could hit retailers or production lines.

Demonstrator Model  – The Blockchain Solution

Buying fuel from approved or trusted suppliers will become a far more important issue following the introduction of the 0.5% sulfur cap for ships on 1 January 2020. It was with these issues in mind that MBL, a subsidiary of the Denmark-based start-up Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) established its demonstrator model for the delivery of high-quality fuels to the maritime industry via a blockchain solution.

Founded by Deanna MacDonald, the current CEO, and the late Maurice Meehan of the Carbon War Room, BLOC is unique in its methodology for developing solutions, using collaborative projects with maritime industry insiders so that the solutions are developed in a way that suits the shipping industry best.

So far BLOC has launched just one demonstrator. In late July the group announced its bunker fuelling system with a host of collaborators, ranging from Lloyd’s Register FOBAS to BIMCO, Precious Shipping and including bunker supplier GoodFuels.

Second Demonstrator Announced

This week the company announced its second demonstrator, crewing certification with another industry consortium that includes Maersk, Hanseatic Shipmanagement and the Missions to Seamen, and MacDonald told FreightWaves that BLOC will quickly roll out a third demonstrator to be announced within the next few months.

It is the success of the original demonstrator that has allowed the rollout of new solutions and has ultimately led to the latest announcement that, the company intends to upscale the fuel demonstrator capturing fuel deliveries and associated verified data into the system.

The Call for Sponsors

It is intended that this will be undertaken by a consortium formed of ship owners or operators, fuel suppliers, port authorities and a fuel testing body, most Likely Lloyd’s Register’s Fuel Oil Bunker Analysis and Advisory Service (FOBAS). MBL is inviting interest from stakeholders within these groups to join and co-sponsor this next phase of work. It is expected to begin in January 2019.

Involving Experts Shows New Directions

MacDonald said, “It is the learning that we have taken from the original consortium and the contributions and value propositions that have informed the next phase and will allow us to create a global fuel consortium, and a process that will tackle the problem of how to trace fuels and know that they are compliant.”

She went on to say that, one of the earlier learnings they had was the thought that they might have been solving for a specific problem in bunkering that had been flagged to them by several industry actors, until they brought together several stakeholders from the bunkering supply chain and held a workshop to dive deeper into the problems. It was then that they were redirected to a new set, or a more specific and different, set of problems which needed to be addressed.

It was through the industry collaboration that the new direction was highlighted and that shows the benefits of including the experts in the development of new systems explained MacDonald.

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Source: Freight Waves



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