New Standard to Support Maritime Sector’s Shift to More Sustainable Fuels

07 November 2019

Joint Media Release

1. The Singapore Standards Council has launched a new Singapore Standard, SS 648 - Code of Practice for Bunker Mass Flow Metering (MFM), to enhance the operational aspects for MFM bunkering and support the changing needs of the bunker industry as it transits to a low sulphur fuel oil regime in January 2020 to meet International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations. Harnessing technology and innovation, the use of MFM has led to numerous benefits for the bunker industry since its implementation. This includes improving the measurement process, increasing transparency, and boosting operational efficiency.

2. SS 648, the first standard of its kind in the world, has an expanded scope and application to cover marine fuel oil and distillates as compared to TR 48 developed in 2015. Replacing TR 48, the new standard supports the industry’s shift towards environmental sustainability. SS 648 also includes new requirements for multi-meter installation, which will enable bunker suppliers to better meet the needs of bunker buyers by enabling the delivery of different grades of bunker fuels. This is achieved through the use of multi-meter systems that will reduce cross contamination with proper segregation.

3. Developed under the auspices of the Technical Committee (TC) for Bunkering, managed by the Standards Development Organisation at Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SDO@SCIC), the development of SS 648 is an industry-led effort. The Working Group comprises key representatives from the bunker supply chain, including bunker suppliers/ tanker operators, bunker surveyors, ship owners/ buyers, and relevant authorities.

4. Ms Choy Sauw Kook, Director-General (Quality & Excellence), Enterprise Singapore, said, “SS 648 is a result of close engagement and dialogue sessions with stakeholders from the bunker supply chain to address new challenges that arose from practical usage following the implementation of TR 48. SS 648 supports companies in the bunker supply chain by ensuring bunker operations are trusted, efficient, and aligned to IMO regulations. Enterprise Singapore will continue to support MPA and industry stakeholders in maintaining the competitiveness of Singapore enterprises, enabling business growth in this sector, and strengthening our status as a global maritime hub.”

5. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has reported bunker sales volume of 49.8 million metric tonnes (mt) in 2018, making Singapore the world's largest bunkering port. Captain Daknashamoorthy Ganasen, Senior Director (Operations & Marine Services Division), MPA, said, “To enhance integrity and transparency of bunker operations in the port of Singapore, MPA mandated the use of mass flow meter for the deliveries of marine fuel oil since 1 January 2017 and the deliveries of distillates since 1 July 2019. While we received positive feedback on quantity assurance, we continue to work closely with our stakeholders to prepare the bunkering industry for IMO 2020 and beyond. It is therefore important that the relevant standards, such as TR 48 and its upgraded version, SS 648 stay relevant and up to date.”

6. Mr Darrick Pang, Managing Director of Metcore International Pte Ltd., said, “Over the years, the standard has provided local industry players a level playing field and the opportunity to export our MFM bunkering technical knowledge, skills and expertise beyond Singapore. Metcore International, collaboratively with Lloyd's Register, has certified over a dozen bunker tankers installed with MFM in Europe, the Middle East, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Moving forward, we expect more interest with the much improved SS 648 from our overseas partners and we are eagerly looking for the next opportunity to market Singapore's capability and proficiency in bunker fuel measurement.”

7. Captain Samir Fernandez, Global Head of Commercial Operations, Maersk Oil Trading Singapore, said, “The predecessor of SS 648, TR 48, has set the highest standards of transparency and accuracy for custody transfer of bunker fuels. It is not just about fitting a better piece of equipment, but aims to encompass a total system of trust within an industry otherwise fraught with ambiguity. The new Singapore Standard matches Maersk’s core value of Constant Care so closely that Maersk Oil Trading is aiming to become the first physical supplier in the world to enforce SS 648 procedures on our barges globally.”

8. Mr Seah Khen Hee, Chairman, Technical Committee for Bunkering, said, “Metrology and system integrity are the twin foundations of SS648 providing the base for MFM system approval and the bunker custody transfer process as detailed in the metering procedure. Extending these principles to bunker fuel transfer or delivery at oil terminals in a new Singapore Standard is the next major initiative to strengthen the Singapore’s bunker supply chain, and build trust and confidence in the Singapore bunker industry.”

For more information, please see the SS 648 Fact Sheet