25-02-2017

Singapore MPA speeds up bunker mass-flow-meter re-validation process

bunker

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has moved to address the concerns of bunker barge operators in Singapore whose tankers were fitted with mass flow meters three years ago and were scheduled for a re-calibration by granting shorter validation extensions through a quicker process.

Barge operators were initially worried that re-calibrating the meters would mean putting their barges out of operation for a few weeks as the meters would have to be sent to the manufacturers’ laboratories in Europe.

Under the current Technical Reference for bunker mass flow metering (TR 48), approved mass flow meter delivery systems have to be re-calibrated at the end of a three-year cycle.

The MPA said in an emailed statement to S&P Global Platts Friday that re-calibration requires the mass flow meters to be sent to one of government agency SPRING Singapore’s Recognized Testing Laboratories, most of which are in Europe.

However, the MPA, with the help of technical experts who developed the TR48, has designed an “extension approval test to validate the MFM systems as an alternative to re-calibration which will minimize down time and reduce costs,” its spokeswoman said.

“Bunker tankers that pass the extension approval test conducted by MPA would be allowed to continue MFM operations for another year. The experience gained through this test will be useful to fine-tune the requirements in TR48,” the spokeswoman said.

This extension approval test was conducted on-board without the need to remove the MFM from the bunker tanker, she added.

As of February, a total of five bunker tankers have participated in the extension approval test. S&P Global Platts confirmed with the owners of the Emissary, the Oigawa, and the Marine Kingsly that they were among those given a one-year extension.

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

The Emissary, which Exxon Mobil chartered from Hong Lam Marine, was the first bunker tanker in Singapore to be fitted with the device in June, 2012.

It made its first commercial bunker delivery by mass flow meter to a 50,595 dwt container ship, Kota Layang, on July 11, 2012.

Source: Platts 

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