Singapore Suspends Glencore’s License for Selling Contaminated Fuel

More than 140,000 metric tonnes of gasoline was believed to have been contaminated within the Singapore market in March 2022 (file photograph)

Aug 3, 2022 8:43 PM by

The Maritime Executive

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority concluded its investigation into the 2022 gasoline contamination incident that impacted greater than 200 vessels that fueled on the earth’s largest bunker market. While discovering no proof that the suppliers had deliberately contaminated the HSFO being offered to vessels, they concluded that one of many suppliers, Glencore Singapore, had continued to provide the contaminated gasoline after checks uncovered the contamination. As a consequence, the MPA is taking motion in opposition to Glencore suspending its bunkering license for two months.

“Glencore contravened the phrases and circumstances of its bunkering license in failing to make sure that no bunkers equipped by it have been contaminated,” introduced the MPA in its ultimate report detailing the investigation. They discovered {that a} whole of 24 vessels have been equipped with the affected gasoline by Glencore between March 22 and April 1, 2022, with no less than three vessels having reported points with their gasoline pumps and engines.

Concerns over a possible gasoline contamination problem began to surface in early March after vessels started experiencing gasoline system failures of their auxiliary engine which resulted in a lack of energy and propulsion. Fuel testing and inspection laboratory Veritas Petroleum on March 11 issued a warning a few potential downside warning vessels to undertake further affirmation testing. The MPA stories that it was notified on March 14 that quite a few vessels had been equipped with contaminated gasoline and VPS together with one other gasoline testing group, Maritec, issued further warnings in addition to alerts from Lloyd’s Register FOBAS to ship homeowners and operators all occurring throughout late March. 

During its investigation, the MPA discovered that Glencore Singapore had engaged a gasoline oil testing laboratory and was suggested between March 21 and 23 that the outcomes confirmed contamination. Samples taken from gasoline oil Glencore was promoting contained concentrations of COC (Chlorinated Organic Compounds) not generally current in bunker gasoline. The MPA stories that regardless of being made conscious of elevated ranges of the contaminant, Glencore continued to provide bunkers blended with the contaminated gasoline for an extra 10 days until April 1. 

The MPA will droop Glencore’s bunkering license efficient from August 18, 2022. “MPA has additionally requested Glencore to enhance its inner procedures to make sure that immediate motion is taken in future when it turns into conscious of, or fairly suspects, any irregularity in gasoline high quality.” 

The investigation used subtle forensic fingerprinting evaluation of the gasoline samples. As a consequence, the MPA was in a position to hint the gasoline to provides from Glencore and PetroChina International (Singapore) and observe the path to a single load of gasoline. They decided that the contaminated gasoline had traveled on a tanker from the Port of Khor Fakkan within the United Arab Emirates.

While PetroChina had additionally been supplying the contaminated gasoline to vessels in Singapore, the investigation decided that PetroChina stopped supplying the gasoline as early as March 19. Because the agency had taken immediate motion after receiving the check outcomes, the MPA shouldn’t be taking motion in opposition to PetroChina.

The contaminant discovered within the current incident nevertheless can’t be detected by normal ISO and ASTM procedures. Glencore had examined the gasoline and located it in compliance with the ISO requirements. The testing laboratories used further strategies to finally affirm the excessive ranges of chlorinated hydrocarbons. At the time, VPS reported that it believed 140,170 metric tonnes of fuel had been contaminated with a price of $120 million.

With the gasoline market in Singapore promoting roughly 50 million tonnes yearly, the MPA is utilizing this incident to remind all licensed bunker suppliers to stick strictly to the phrases and circumstances of their licenses. They preserve high quality gasoline assurance measures for the market reporting that over 1,300 samples are examined yearly. The MPA can also be taking efforts to strengthen its gasoline high quality checks.

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