Singapore’s MPA reports high degree of compliance to sulphur cap

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) has said that it was seeing a high degree of compliance with the new IMO 2020 fuel sulphur cap.

In Q1 2020 – the first three months since the new fuel use rule took effect – 96% of ships it inspected had been consuming fuel that was compliant.

MPA conducted 326 inspections in the Port of Singapore, of which 12 that were not fitted with scrubbers were using fuel that (slightly) exceeded the new sulphur limit of 0.5%.

The MPA said that the non-compliant situations were probably due only to remaining residues of high-sulphur fuel in the ships’ fuel oil tanks and piping.

The MPA said it was expected that “in time, the fuel oil tanks and piping will be properly flushed with the continual use of compliant fuel”.

Although the vessels’ ship managers and flag states were informed of these non-compliance incidents, detention orders were not issued. Two other ships that were found to be using non-compliant fuel were detained, and only permitted to leave after switching to 0.5% sulphur content bunkers.

Singapore has banned the discharge of wash water from open-loop scrubbers; the inspection programme discovered no violations. As a flag state, Singapore has received about 30 reports of scrubber malfunction from its flagged ships.

MPA director of marine Goh Chung Hun said that “by engaging the industry proactively, providing the necessary technical guidance and maintaining an adequate supply of compliant fuel in Singapore, we have ensured a high degree of compliance with IMO 2020 sulphur regulations. Singapore will continue to play its part to make shipping clean and sustainable”.