Mass Flow Meters Mandatory for Refineries and Oil Terminals in Turkey

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Following the introduction of a new regulation in Turkey, all refineries and terminals – including those serving the country’s local bunker industry – will be required to use mass flow meters (MFMs) to transfer product.

The industry has had three years to prepare for the change, which now takes effect from February 15, 2017.

There are some 15,000 ships taking bunker in Turkey every year, and there are 200 active tankers in Turkey, 60 of them bunker barges..

Reports say that there is only one refinery and their terminals serves 95 percent of the Turkish bunker industry within  Istanbul and the Izmit Bay area.  That makes this is a much better system than installing MFMs on 200 individual vessels.

The move comes at a time of increased debate over the use of technology to tackle malpractice in the bunker industry, not least of which stems from Singapore having introduced mandatory mass flow meter use for MFO bunkering from January 1, 2017.

Players in Hong Kong, Fujairah, and Turkey are also among those now choosing to offer the technology voluntarily.

Reports say that volume related malpractice in the local markets are rare hence they welcomed the move.  All barges are reportedly loaded under the supervision of customs officers who monitor all terminals by radar and electronic systems, while all discharges and loadings at refineries and terminals are performed under the control of independent surveyors.

This new rule should add to Turkey’s high standards and reliable position in bunker market.

The debate over the use of MFMs for bunkering will no doubt continue this year, with the Port of Rotterdam among those investigating the technology.

Still, Mustafa Muhtaroglu, Chief Executive of Turkish supplier Energy Petrol reported to have said that MFMs should not be considered a “magic box” that will solve all of the problems in the bunker industry.  Instead, a quality supply chain with players agreeing to work to a code of ethics is the best was to eradicate malpractice.

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Source: Platts

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