Following a number of reported incidents concerning allegations of short delivery of residual fuel oil in Singapore, as detailed in our Loss Prevention Bulletin: Bunker Disputes – The “Cappuccino Effect”, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has introduced various measures aimed at reducing the likelihood of such incidents occurring.
In April 2014 the MPA announced that the fitment of mass flow meter technology would be mandated on licensed bunker tankers in Singapore. Mass flow meters, with no moving parts in contact with the flow of product through the meter, aim to give an accurate measurement (typically of 0.5%) of the mass of a product that has been pumped through the meter, and are not fooled into giving higher false meter readings by the presence of entrained air within the product being pumped. Mass flow meters are fitted with non-resettable and resettable totalizers, and are able to print out a metering ticket detailing the bunkering operation and the mass (in air) of the product supplied.
From 1st January 2015 all bunker tankers applying for a bunkering license for delivery of residual fuel oil from the MPA have been required to be fitted with a mass flow meter. From 1st January 2017 the usage of this technology will be mandated on all bunker tankers licensed by the MPA for delivery of residual fuel oil.
The use of mass flow meter technology will substantially change bunkering procedures. No measurements of the supplying vessel’s tanks will be allowed prior to or after a stem of residual fuel oil, typically saving three hours for an average bunkering operation. However, with the universal introduction of the mass flow meter on bunker tankers in Singapore, vessels calling at the port need to be aware of the recommended procedural changes when residual fuel oil is being supplied via a mass flow meter.
The Chief Engineer, or designated ship’s officer overseeing the bunkering operation should consider the following steps in relation to receiving bunkers from a mass flow meter equipped bunker tanker. Where necessary Safety Management System bunkering procedures and associated checklists may require modification:
- Confirm the grade and quantity of the bunkers to be received with the supplying vessel.
- Confirm the pumping rate, which must be more than the minimum and less than the maximum permitted for the mass flow meter.
- Check that all seals are in place and intact, at all sealing points identified in the mass flow meter system diagram. Ensure the seal numbers match those stated in the latest seal verification report available from the supplying vessel.
- Record the meter readings of the non-resettable totalizers and ensure the resettable totalizer is set to zero.
- Check that the supplying vessel fills the cargo line as quickly as possible.
- Ensure the agreed pumping rate is adhered to.
- Record all stoppages.
- All parties, being receiving vessel, supplying vessel and bunker surveyor are to agree when the delivery and subsequent line clearing is finished.
- Record the final meter readings from all totalizers.
- Re-check that all seals remain in place, are intact and the seal numbers match those listed on the latest seal verification report.
- Obtain a copy of the bunker metering ticket and a Bunker Delivery Note from the supplying vessel.
The foregoing points are a summary of the principal actions that should be taken when receiving bunkers from a vessel using a mass flow meter. Further details of all of the steps that should be addressed during such a bunkering operation can be found in the Generic Mass Flow Meter Delivery Procedure and the Technical Reference for Bunker Mass Flow Metering Placard published by the Singaporean Authorities.
Members requiring further information should contact the Loss Prevention department.
The Club would like to thank Maria Kyratsoudi of Lloyds Register Marine, FOBAS for her assistance with the preparation of the bunkering operations part of this article.