IMO2020: Singapore Will Retain Top Bunkering Spot, Says Maersk Executive

Monday March 12, 2018

The switch to distillates fuel from 2020 will do little to undermine's Singapore's premier position in bunkering, a Maersk executive has said.

Regional trading head Peter Beekhuis told a conference in Singapore that the city state's infrastructural advantages will hold even if fuel oil import patterns change.

"Singapore imports about 80% of fuel oil to meet its current bunkering demand," Beekuis was quoted as saying by pricing agency S&P Global Platts.

"Going into 2020, this may rise to 85% or 90% or perhaps even more, but the country's status as a trading hub will not change.

"Some volume may shift within the region, but not [enough] to displace Singapore's status as the top bunkering hub."

Last year, Singapore hit a record of 50 million metric tonnes (mt) of bunkers sold. The port has also innovated by bringing in mass flow metering where what goes into a ship's fuel tanks is electronically measured.

From 2020, the global sulfur cap on bunker fuel falls to 0.5% thereby stimulating demand for low sulfur product.