Bunker sales of biofuels in Singapore more than tripled in 2023

Bunker sales for biofuel blends, which escalated to 520,000 tonnes, marking a threefold increase from the 2022 figure of 140,000 tonnes.

Embarked on sustainable development, Singapore witnessed a remarkable advancement in alternative fuel supply in 2023. It is evident from the surge of bunker sales for biofuel blends, which escalated to 520,000 tonnes, marking a threefold increase from the 2022 figure of 140,000 tonnes.

This was revealed by Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport during an event. He disclosed that commercially available biofuel blends, reaching up to B30, have seen success, while trials for blends up to B100 are currently underway. Notably, the inaugural marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel in Singapore took place in April 2021.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) also reported a surge in liquefied natural gas bunker sales, reaching 110,000 tonnes in 2023, a substantial rise from the 16,000 tonnes recorded in 2022. A historic moment occurred in July 2023 when the MPA conducted the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation, supplying approximately 300 tonnes of green methanol for the first time in the Port of Singapore.

In another milestone, the global maritime bunkering hub received its inaugural methanol bunkering vessel in the previous month. Furthermore, the deployment of new fully electric 200-passenger ferries and supply vessels within port waters in 2023 aimed to support the local maritime ecosystem.

MPA’s recent call for an Expression of Interest (EOI) in methanol supply as a marine bunker fuel in the port indicates ongoing efforts to gather proposals for end-to-end methanol bunkering solutions, scheduled for implementation in Singapore by 2025. The port authority is concurrently working on developing standards for vessel electrification, cybersecurity, and the adoption of novel bunker fuels such as methanol and ammonia.

In 2022, an EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering attracted 26 proposals, with the second selection phase currently underway.

Bunker sales in 2023 reached 51.82 million tonnes, surpassing the previous record of 50.64 million tonnes in 2017.

To enhance the efficiency and transparency of bunkering delivery documentation and workflow in the Port of Singapore, MPA initiated the Digital Bunkering initiative in November 2023. Further expansion is anticipated in the coming year, with MPA continuing efforts to gather feedback and drive early adoption. The full implementation of digital bunkering is anticipated to save up to 40,000 man-hours annually.

At the same time, US based Maersk Oil Trading has said that it has emerged as the largest supplier of biofuel bunkers in Singapore in 2023.

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