Bunker Surveyors should still be used even when a MFM system is employed, says Gard.
It will be important to use a Bunker Surveyor during bunkering operations in Singapore even after the use of mass flow meters (MFMs) becomes mandatory, Gard has advised.
In April the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced that from January 1, 2017 MFMs will be mandatory for Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) bunkering, and Gard noted that in the MPA's Generic MFM Procedure manual, which offers advice on the operation of MFM systems, it too says the engagement of Bunker Surveyors as independent witnesses in transactions will remain advisable.
Some of the intended benefits of MFMs include adding transparency to the bunkering process, eliminating human error that can occur with traditional volumetric measurements, and preventing certain types of malpractice such as cappuccino bunkers.
a Bunker Surveyor should still conduct bunker surveys ... to check for signs of cappuccino bunkers and other malpractices
Gard says that even when a MFM is used, Bunker Surveyors play an important role in ensuring compliance during bunkering processes, but in particular regard to MFMs, ensuring that meters are reset to zero before commencement of bunkering, and ensuring that there is no possibility of bypassing the meters.
"The integrity of the measurement process relies on ensuring that the whole delivery system, and not just the meter, is completely secure," said Gard.
Notably, Gard said a Bunker Surveyor should still conduct bunker surveys onboard the bunker supply barge and the ship before and after delivery, to check for signs of cappuccino bunkers and other malpractices.
MPA's Frequently Asked Questions on Mass Flow Metering (MFM) for Bunkering can be downloaded here: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/sites/pdf/faq_mfm.pdf
MPA's Generic MFM Procedure can be downloaded here: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/sites/pdf/generic_mfm_delivery_procedure.pdf