Singapore Port Authority examines suspected fuel contamination

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, which oversees the world’s largest marine refuelling hub, is investigating the suspected contamination of bunker fuel supplied to several ships in the port.

“As a major bunkering hub, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) takes quality assurance seriously and is investigating the cause of the alleged bunker fuel contamination,” it said.

“Further investigations are currently on-going. MPA will not hesitate to take action should there be any non-compliance.”

At least 14 ships that received allegedly tainted high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) from Singapore suffered loss of power and engine problems, fuel and oil testing firm Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) said.

The authority said it was notified of the issue on 14 March and immediately contacted bunker suppliers to stop supplying the relevant batch of fuel, and to inform all ships supplied with the fuel to exercise caution when using it, according to a statement.

MPA did not name the suppliers.

VPS had said that 34 vessels were identified as having received HSFO deliveries over the last two months that were contaminated with up to 2,000 parts per million (ppm) of chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Norwegian-headquartered P&I club Skuld said that over the past two weeks it had seen an increased number of claims related to high-sulphur fuel oil loads at Singapore, which were found to be contaminated with chlorinated compounds.

Another P&I club, Gard, said it had also flagged similar issues.

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