Fri 28 Jul 2023 10:33

VPS performs first methanol bunker quantity survey

Landmark operation took place in Singapore on July 27.

First foot sample taken by VPS during the first methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS), in Singapore.

On July 27, fuel testing and advisory services provider VPS became the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore.

VPS was appointed to undertake the survey of a methanol fuel delivery supplied by Hong Lam to a Maersk vessel — yet to be officially named — on its maiden voyage to Europe.

The operation was overseen by the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) to ensure that all parties met the stringent safety requirements.

Nick Clague, VPS Head of Sustainable Fuels, stated: "This bunkering of methanol represents a significant milestone in the steps being taken by the shipping industry to reduce emissions and ultimately decarbonise."

Prior to the methanol delivery, various levels of pre-delivery work were required — including the delivery barge tank-cleaning operation and a partial loading of methanol to the barge — to ensure no cross-contamination could take place during the actual delivery.

VPS also undertook the required closed-sampling procedure to harvest representative samples of the methanol delivered to the vessel, which have now been transferred to a VPS laboratory for quality testing.

Over the past 12 months, VPS notes that it has invested heavily in new laboratory equipment and R&D to provide a comprehensive methanol testing service in relation to methanol as a marine fuel.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, VPS MD AMEA, said: "For VPS to have been involved in such a high-profile and historic event here in Singapore, has been a privilege. Maersk and Hong Lam have taken a major step forward in shipping's drive towards decarbonisation, along with the support of the MPA, and we are proud to have played our part today and in the future."

Additionally in his role as Chair of the Technical Committee (TC) for Bunkering (Ambient Liquid Fuels) under the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) and the Standards Development Organisation (SDO)@SCIC, Captain Choudhuri added: "Such a demonstration of successful methanol bunkering operations will facilitate the future development of the Technical Reference (TR) for methanol bunkering in Singapore and lay the basis of considerable competitive advantage for Singapore as a go-to multi-fuel port of the future."

The Maersk vessel will now sail to Port Said, Egypt, where once again VPS will undertake the BQS, sampling and testing of a second delivery of methanol.

The final leg of the voyage will see the vessel arrive in Rotterdam towards the end of August, with VPS due to complete its nominated work for BQS, sampling and testing at that time.

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