28 April 2017

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good evening to you. 

It is a great pleasure to join all of you this evening at the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Asia Gala dinner, held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week. I am pleased to see all of you tonight as we gather for a time of networking to promote the exchange of ideas and exchange of views. 

Singapore’s bunker industry performance in 2016

1. Despite a weaker-than-expected global economic environment and significant changes in the maritime industry, the bunker industry in Singapore has proven to be resilient in 2016. The port of Singapore managed to improve its performance and maintain its position as the world’s top bunkering port. We achieved total bunker sales volumes of 48.6 million metric tonnes, a historic high surpassing 45.2 million metric tonnes in 2015. This translates to a bunker volume growth of 7.7% year-on-year. In the first quarter of 2017, bunker volumes grew at a rate of about 7% year-on-year, where we achieved a total of 12.65 million metric tonnes. This is a remarkable achievement which would not have been possible if not for your tremendous support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and I look forward to your continued commitment towards the Singapore bunkering industry. 

Partnership with IBIA

2. IBIA, a strong supporter of the numerous bunkering initiatives that helped shape the bunkering landscape, is a close working partner of MPA. The work IBIA has done in Singapore has helped foster an even stronger bunkering community.  

3. I understand that IBIA Asia has been actively involved in tackling issues faced by the industry here in Singapore. IBIA Asia has conducted refresher courses for bunker surveyors, bunker cargo officers as well as office-based executives, enabling the various stakeholders to adapt to the usage of MFM.  

4. IBIA has also facilitated exchange of views and knowledge via various platforms, such as the most recent IBIA Asia forum held in March this year. Many of these engagements have been well-received by the industry.  I am also pleased to note that the IBIA Annual Convention will be held in Singapore once again this year.  

5. We are deeply appreciative of these efforts and I look forward to IBIA’s continued support towards future bunkering initiatives. 

MFM update and future plans

6. 2017 is a historic year for the bunkering industry as we embrace the mandatory implementation of MFM in Singapore. From 1 Jan 2017, all 136 bunker tankers carrying marine fuel oil were fitted with the MPA-approved MFM. Industry feedback on the mandatory implementation has been positive so far. Early indicators have shown that the introduction of MFM has not impacted Singapore’s bunker sales, evident of the strong monthly bunker sales for the first quarter of this year. We remain cautiously optimistic and hope to see a positive sustainable trend in the following months. 

7. This year, we also saw the introduction of the licensing of bunker surveying companies, which aims to raise the standard and quality of the bunker surveying industry. To date, the total number of licensed bunker surveying companies stands at 49, which remains largely steady since the introduction of MFM in Jan 2017. We believe that the licensing scheme will further enhance industry confidence, benefitting the bunkering community as a whole. Moving forward, we would continue to engage the bunker surveying companies on industry feedback, which would be valuable for our future review on the licensing of bunker surveyors. 

8. The test-bedding project on “Mass Flow Metering for Distillates” has already commenced and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year. Five bunker tankers are taking part in the project. MPA will work together with this pool of tanker owners, to determine the feasibility of MFM for distillate fuels such as Marine Gas Oil. As part of the test-bedding, we are also taking the opportunity to test the use of MFM for Ultra Low Sulphur Fuel Oil, a compliant fuel for the 0.5 % IMO sulphur implementation in 2020. Moving forward, MPA will work towards implementing MFM for distillates, which could come as early as in the first half of 2018. 


9. I am confident that with the continued support of our industry partners such as IBIA, we will together strive to continuously remain competitive as we lead and shape the global bunkering industry.

10. I would like to congratulate the members of the organising committee of IBIA Asia for successfully putting together this gala dinner in conjunction with our 12th Singapore Maritime Week. I thank IBIA once again for inviting MPA to join you this evening.  

11. I wish all of you a pleasant evening. Bon appetite!