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Singapore Probe Reveals Contaminated Bunker Fuel Was Sold to Some 200 Ships

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 15434
April 13, 2022

Singapore’s port authority has revealed that contaminated bunker fuel supplied by Glencore was sold to some 200 ships last month.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has released preliminary findings from its investigation into alleged contaminated marine fuel supplied to several ships at the world’s largest bunkering hub.

The MPA said it learned on 14 March 2022 that a number of ships had been supplied with High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) containing high concentration levels of chlorinated organic compounds (COC) and immediately notified the relevant bunker suppliers to halt the supply of the fuel and notify ships of issue.

The MPA said its investigation into the contamination revealed that the fuel in question was a blended product supplied by Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of commodities trading giant Glencore International, which notified the MPA upon receiving reports of its fuel being contaminated and proceeded to conduct testing.

By the time the fuel was identified and tested, however, some of it had already been sold to PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd (PetroChina), which in turn had already supplied it to a number of ships in the Port of Singapore.

The MPA learned that Glencore and PetroChina had supplied the contaminated fuel to about 200 ships, of which 80 have reported various issues with their fuel pumps and engines.

Tests revealed that one of the fuels in its blended product that was sourced from overseas contained about 15000 ppm of COC.

The MPA noted that this is the first case of fuel contamination due to high concentration levels of COC reported in Singapore in the past two decades.

“As a major bunkering hub, MPA takes bunker quality assurance seriously and will not hesitate to take necessary actions against relevant parties if they have failed to comply with MPA’s bunker license conditions or other applicable regulations,” the MPA said in its findings.

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