From July 1 2019, Singapore will extend the mandatory use of mass flow meters (MFMs) to bunker barges delivering distillate fuels. This is ahead of an expected pick-up in the demand for distillate fuels to meet global caps on sulphur content in bunker fuels which will come into effect from 2020.
Singapore was the first to mandate the use of MFMs in 2017 for marine, or bunker, fuel oil sales from barges to the end-user vessels. The proposed measures would extend the use of MFMs to fuel transfers from oil terminals to the bunker barges.
The measures are all aimed at bringing more transparency to a notoriously opaque sector. This sector has had its fair share of scandals, including illegal short-selling of fuel as well as large-scale fuel theft.
More recently, a wave of contaminated fuel has clogged and damaged engines on hundreds of oil tankers and container vessels. The authority has not held anymore accountable yet. That has pushed shippers to demand stricter controls around the world.
The proposed measures could enhance transparency and accountability in a meaningful way, two trade sources said.
For instance, MFMs can ensure the right quantities of fuels are transferred between buyers and sellers. Moreover taking oil samples at terminals could help prevent the spread of contaminated fuels. It can also enhance accountability if quality disputes arise, the sources said.
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