Port of Singapore Receives Over 50 Methanol Bunkering Proposals

Port of Singapore Receives Over 50 Methanol Bunkering Proposals

Methanol’s ascendancy as a leading low-carbon maritime fuel continues seemingly unabated with the news that the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received over 50 proposals to provide methanol bunkering. 

The proposals came following the MPA’s issuance of an Expression of Interest (EoI). The EoI covered three areas; methanol supply, a methanol bunkering operating model at commercial scale, and alternatives to the physical transfer of methanol molecules to Singapore. 

In short, the MPA was seeking a partner that will be able to ensure a consistent, resilient methanol supply, given that methanol has recently overtaken LNG as the alternative fuel of choice amongst vessel operators. 

In line with this, the MPA - in consultation with the industry - estimates that demand for methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore could potentially exceed one million tonnes per annum (MTPA) before 2030. 

According to a statement released by the MPA, ‘There was strong interest in the EOI. MPA received a total of 50 submissions, out of which 40% of them proposed end-to-end solutions covering all three areas highlighted in the EoI. Over 60 regional and international companies comprising energy companies, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EoI, signalling clear business confidence in Singapore as a key offtake location for methanol by international shipping’. 

Of the proposals received, MPA revealed that a number are already in operation or have crossed Final Investment Decision (FID). 

In addition, many of the proposals emphasised that they would make use of ‘ready storage infrastructure in Singapore’. Furthermore, many proposals suggested that they would partner with operators to either build or procure bunker tankers capable of carrying and delivering methanol. 

MPA has confirmed that the insights gleaned from the EoI will be used to ‘inform the development of the methanol bunkering regulatory framework to ensure the safe and efficient supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore at a commercial scale’. The standards that MPA hopes to establish (through the Singapore Standards Council) include; custody transfer requirements, operational and safety requirements for the delivery of methanol and ammonia from a bunker tanker to receiving vessels, as well as crew training and competencies. 

Furthermore, MPA’s regulatory framework for methanol bunkering licensing is expected to be finalised in the coming months. A call for applications for licences to supply methanol as a marine fuel at Singapore is expected by the end of 2024. 

Maritime fuel consultancy

Whilst the rise of alternative fuels continues, the maritime industry continues to run largely on traditional bunker fuels. 

However, bunker fuel quality issues can be a recurring (and costly) concern for vessel owners, charterers and ship engineers alike. 

If you find yourself dealing with a fuel quality dispute, then Brookes Bell can help. Our fuel specialists and fuel chemists have extensive experience conducting forensic analysis of fuels and identifying contamination issues. 

Speak to Brookes Bell about your bunker fuel quality dispute now

For more maritime industry news and information, explore the Brookes Bell News and Knowledge Hub

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Anthony York
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