MPA Conducts Investigations On Contaminated Bunker Fuel

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received notification that several ships in the Port of Singapore had been supplied with High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) containing high amounts of Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC) (1,2-Dichloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene) and MPA has carried out an investigation, says an article on Manifold Times.

Investigation Findings

Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd (Glencore) purchased the HSFO with high COC concentrations in January and February 2022. Glencore had acquired the fuel from Unicious Energy Pte Ltd [2], which had contracted its supply from Straits Pinnacle Pte Ltd [1]. (Unicious). 

The contaminated HSFO was placed onto a tanker at the Port of Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and transferred to floating storage facilities at Tanjong Pelepas, Malaysia, where it was blended further. 

The blended HSFO was then delivered to Singapore storage facilities. Glencore also sold a portion of the blended HSFO to PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd. (PetroChina).

Fuel onboard the tanker was found to contain high concentrations of COC, of up to 21,000 ppm.

Tests on the fuel supplied based

All MPA-licensed bunker providers must test their gasoline to ensure that it meets international standards.

 MPA has determined that Glencore and PetroChina, as MPA-licensed bunker suppliers, conducted testing on the fuel supplied in accordance with international petroleum product standards – International Organization for Standardization 8217. (ISO 8217). 

 Since March 31, 2022, MPA has not received any reports of fuel containing high COC supplied by the two providers.

Fuel assurance measures 

MPA takes bunker quality assurance seriously as a global bunkering centre. 

The Bunker Quality Inspection System (BQIS) and the Intensified Bunker Quality Checks are two MPA quality fuel assurance procedures (IBQC). 

The BQIS inspects bunker supplied to ships, while the IBQC inspects bunker carried by bunker tankers before it is delivered to ships. In order to ensure conformity with ISO 8217, over 1,300 bunker samples are tested annually under BQIS and IBQC. 

Additional measures to strengthen

The MPA and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) are now in talks with the industry about how to improve the quality assurance of bunkers delivered in Singapore.

MPA and SSA will co-chair an industry expert committee with appropriate professional groups to develop a list of chemicals to be tested and their concentration limitations. 

The expert committee is anticipated to give suggestions on additional bunker quality assurance procedures for bunkers delivered in Singapore as soon as possible.

MPA has raised issue at international level

MPA has also brought this issue to the attention of the world community. 

MPA informed the meeting that a paper on the recent contamination case will be submitted in due course for Member States’ awareness at the recent International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee (MSC105) working group meeting on‘Measures to enhance safety of ships related to the use of fuel oil’ held between 20 and 29 April 2022.

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Source: Manifold Times

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