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ASIA PACIFIC: SINGAPORE BUNKER TANKERS ACHIEVE MFM OPS APPROVAL IN RECORD TIME


Bunkerspot

M/T Kai Ei Maru 8 and M/T Kai Ei Maru 15 of Hai Soon Ship Management started operations within Singapore’s waters well ahead of schedule, Managing Director of Metcore International tells Bunkerspot.

Newbuilt Singapore-registered bunker tankers M/T Kai Ei Maru 8 and M/T Kai Ei Maru 15 of Hai Soon Ship Management took 15 and 16 days respectively to get operational approval for their mass flowmeter (MFM) systems after arrival at the port.

The development represents a record for the local bunker industry, Darrick Pang, Managing Director of Metcore, tells Bunkerspot.

Since the start of 2017, no bunker tankers are allowed to perform bunkering at Singapore without approval of their MFM systems by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

A bunker tanker which arrives at Singapore will need to have its MFM system approved quickly before starting operations as any downtime for an inactive vessel represents loss of income for its owner, explains Pang.

‘As timing is especially critical post-2017, Metcore believes that each day saved is a day earned for the client,’ he notes.

'The records of 15 and 16 days would not be possible without the cooperation from all of the stakeholders.

‘While Metcore leads the projects, the key success factors lie with our experience and the timely coordination with the various parties.

‘Coupled with great support from the local agencies MPA, National Metrology Centre (NMC), Weights & Measures Office (WMO), Endress + Hauser (E+H), the duration was significantly shortened to days.'

According to Pang, Hai Soon already prepared all of the necessary documentation prior to the arrival of the bunker tankers.

Metcore operations specialists and the crew of Hai Soon further coordinated and boarded the vessels in less than a day after arrival in Singapore waters to work on the approval projects.

Official acceptance test dates with MPA were also requested once the bunker tankers were ready for testing.

Pang, meanwhile, noted some bunker tankers within the Singapore market taking an average of three to six months to receive MPA approval for their MFM systems as stakeholders could not figure out what caused the uncertainty to fall out of the acceptable range; the additional time required increases the downtime and opportunity costs.

Some of the issues can only be solved by understanding how the bunker tanker is built or behaves during an operation through garnering of experience, he says.

Hai Soon's case was accelerated due to the firm engaging Metcore to work from the beginning on its bunker tankers, starting from the pipeline drawing.

'It is an end to end process where Metcore advised on the pipeline system integrity, the installation location of the MFM to the conducting of tests and the submission of documents to the authorities,' explains Pang.

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