SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore authorities are taking measures to ensure the availability of low-sulphur marine fuels ahead of upcoming emissions regulations in 2020, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min said on Wednesday.
“(The) MPA is working closely with the industry to ensure that Singapore is ready to supply low-sulphur compliant fuels ahead of 1 January, 2020,” said Lam at the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will make available a list of licensed bunker suppliers of low-sulphur fuels by mid-2019, said Lam.
Singapore is the world’s largest marine refuelling, or bunkering, hub.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is introducing new rules on marine fuels from 2020, limiting the sulphur content to 0.5 percent, from 3.5 percent currently, to curb pollution produced by the world’s ships.
Singapore is also continuing to promote the use of cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, also called bunkers, at home and abroad.
The MPA also announced on Wednesday that the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority has joined the LNG Bunkering Port Focus Group, the first Middle Eastern port to do so, in an effort to strengthen LNG-bunkering capabilities across key global ports.
“The growing membership will strengthen the global network of LNG bunkering facilities and give shipping lines more confidence to invest in LNG-fuelled vessels,” said Lam.
The working group was first formed by port authorities in Singapore, Belgium and the Netherlands in 2014 and is now comprised of 12 ports across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Using LNG to power ships instead of fuel oil or marine gasoil can reduce emissions of the pollutants nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide by 90 percent to 95 percent.
Singapore had record bunker fuel sales in 2017 of 50.6 million tonnes.
Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger