As many as 200 vessels received contaminated HSFO in Singapore in February and March. File Image / Pixabay
Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) is set to temporarily suspended global commodity firm Glencore's licence to supply bunkers in the city-state's waters over the HSFO contamination seen there earlier this year.
Glencore's licence will be suspended for two months from August 18, the MPA said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The MPA has previously said as many as 200 vessels received contaminated HSFO in Singapore in February and March, of which about 80 subsequently reported damage. The fuel was supplied by Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd and PetroChina International (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and was reportedly brought to Singapore by tanker from Khor Fakkan.
Between March 21 and 23 the fuel testing firm used by Glencore reported that its HSFO contained chlorinated hydrocarbons in concentrations of 2,000-15,000 ppm, when these chemicals are typically not found in bunker fuel at these levels.
Glencore continued to supply the fuel in Singapore from March 22 to April 1, the MPA said inWednesday's statement. In this period the firm supplied the fuel to 24 vessels, of which at least three have since reported problems with fuel pumps and engines.
"By doing so, Glencore contravened the terms and conditions of its Bunkering Licence (Bunker Supplier) in failing to ensure that no bunkers supplied by it were contaminated," the MPA said in the statement.
"Glencore was given the opportunity to comment on these findings before MPA finalised its conclusions."
The MPA's investigations showed PetroChina promptly stopped deliveries of the contaminated fuel from March 19 once it had received test results showing the contamination. No further action will be taken against PetroChina.
"MPA takes compliance with its bunkering licensing regime seriously," the organisation said in Wednesday's statement.
"MPA has reminded all licensed bunker suppliers to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of their licences.
"MPA takes a serious view of contraventions of the bunker supplier licence terms and conditions, and will not hesitate to suspend or cancel the relevant licences, where necessary.
"MPA has also reminded licensees to immediately report to MPA any irregularity in any bunker operation or contravention of any provision under the terms and conditions of their bunker supplier licence."