Bunkering in the port of Singapore
Located on the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is one of the world’s largest transshipment ports and by far the biggest bunkering hub.
The port houses seven main container terminals in Tanjong Pagar, Keppel, Brani and Pasir Panjang, and two multi-purpose terminals that handle specialised cargo at Sembawang Wharves and Jurong Port.
It is controlled by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), which mandated the use of mass flow metres (MFMs) for bunker fuel oil deliveries in 2017. Two years later, it mandated the use of MFMs for all bunker deliveries including distillates. Since then, Singapore has been viewed as the world’s most reliable bunker location, global supplier TFG Marine has said. An emphasis on transparent operations has bolstered this view.
Few instances of weather disruptions and the fact that Singapore is a one-stop shop for all husbandry-related activities have also contributed to strengthen Singapore’s position as a preferred bunkering hub.
Singapore supplies about five times more bunker fuels by volume than Rotterdam, the world’s second biggest bunkering port. The total volume of bunkers supplied in Singapore declined by 4% on the year to a three-year low of 47.88 million mt in 2022. Sales of alternative fuels were recorded in sizeable numbers for the first time, with sales of biofuel-oil blends (140,000 mt) massively outpacing LNG sales (16,000 mt).
Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services claimed the top bunker supplier spot in 2022. PetroChina International (Singapore) and TFG Marine rounded up the top three, according to an official ranking published by the MPA.
Singapore has been making some efforts to decarbonise its own operations and to facilitate bunkering of more environmentally fuels. It recently inked a deal with oil supermajor Shell to advance adoption of electric ferries and “the development of low-and zero-carbon fuels in Singapore.”
The MPA has developed quality standards to support biofuel bunkering in the port, and been exploring ways to facilitate ammonia and methanol bunkering this decade. It has shortlisted Jurong Island as a location to procure, store and supply ammonia for bunkering and power generation.
Singapore’s port authority has also launched green shipping corridor projects with Rotterdam, and more recently Los Angeles and Long Beach, with the aim of spurring uptake of low- and zero-emission fuels on these major shipping lanes. The MPA and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have agreed to set up the world’s longest green shipping corridor and will work with a range of players across the value chain to build systems and infrastructure.