The Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) was off to an impressive start as the biennial conference saw more than 1,100 delegates attend the event’s opening ceremony.
Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Raymond Lim, presided over the opening ceremony today held at Resorts World Sentosa. Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), SIBCON is in its 16th instalment and is regarded as one of the largest and most important events on the calendars of shipping and bunkering professionals.
This year’s theme, “Forging Ahead – a New Era for Marine Fuels,” aptly encompasses the topics to be covered in the forthcoming keynote addresses and panel discussions. A record number of delegates will participate in the exciting line-up of activities over the next three days, which include dialogues, networking cocktails and a demonstration of a joint oil spill exercise.
Addressing an international audience from some 50 countries during the opening ceremony, Minister Lim said “As the global economy gradually recovers from the financial crisis, the bunkering industry is presented with new challenges as well as opportunities. Key among them is the need to deal with the issue of environmental protection and climate change.
I encourage you to use this opportunity to discuss how the industry can develop innovative solutions while still promoting growth, just as it has successfully done in the past.” The changing landscape for fuel management has garnered much interest from the bunkering industry in recent times.
MPA advocates the use of technology to improve the quality and safety of bunkering operations in Singapore. In line with this goal, MPA will set aside $1 million from the Maritime Innovation & Technology Fund to support research into mass flow metering.
The Singapore Working Group on Mass Flow Metering, consisting of MPA, SPRING Singapore and key industry stakeholders, will share findings from its industry trials during the SIBCON panel discussion. SIBCON delegates will also get the opportunity to share their thoughts on the trial results and their perspectives will be gathered to draft a national standard on the application of mass flow metering.
Such efforts by MPA to enhance the quality of bunkering operations in Singapore would help ensure the Port of Singapore remains the world’s top bunkering port. The environmental impacts of shipping and bunkering will be extensively covered during a panel discussion at SIBCON 2010.
The results of the dialogue will allow marine fuel industry leaders to assess the adoption of cleaner alternatives to current marine fuels in the near future. In its efforts to promote environmentally-friendly shipping, MPA will embark on a joint industry project led by DNV Technology Centre to assess the commercial viability for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
With its low sulphur content and abundant availability, LNG could be used for short sea hauls and it also presents potential business opportunities for LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore. In addition to tackling policy issues, SIBCON is also a platform to address operational issues.
During the opening ceremony, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Raymond Lim, launched an interactive multimedia guide for bunkering developed by MPA. Knowledge of bunkering standards and procedures is essential to the conduct of bunkering operations in the Port of Singapore.
MPA’s interactive guide will serve as a training and educational tool for the thousands of local and foreign officers involved in bunker delivery in Singapore. Strategically, by enhancing the knowledge of bunkering professionals in Singapore, it would allow the bunker industry to innovate and explore new possibilities for the future.
Source: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore , October 27, 2010