Martjin Heijboer, the port authority's business development manager, addressed the topic in a panel session at the IBIA Annual Convention 2023 on Wednesday. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker
The Port of Fujairah is actively considering following bunker hubs in Singapore and Northwest Europe in making the use of mass flow meters mandatory for bunker deliveries.
Martjin Heijboer, the port authority's business development manager, addressed the topic in a panel session at the IBIA Annual Convention 2023 in Dubai on Wednesday.
"It's something we're currently looking at, that's for sure," Heijboer said.
"In the past there was perhaps not so much appetite to consider it, but I think things have definitely changed in the past few years.
"Especially this year, myself and my colleagues have been engaging with industry stakeholders to see their views on mass flow meters in Fujairah.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback."
The port authorities of Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges have recently set out their plans to make mass flow meters mandatory from the start of 2026. That decision follows Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority starting to make the meters mandatory from 2017.
Some feedback on the issue has questioned whether the meters are needed in Fujairah, Heijboer added, with fewer quantity disputes seen in the Middle East.
Some argue that you don't have a quantity issue in Fujairah, compared to what Singapore had and Rotterdam has.
"Some argue that you don't have a quantity issue in Fujairah, compared to what Singapore had and Rotterdam has," he said.
"They ask why should we introduce this, if we don't have a problem.
"But then there are so many arguments for why you should have the meters, which we also value."
The authority will seek to encourage the UAE government to take a country-wide approach to the issue, rather than Fujairah acting alone should an MFM mandate be introduced.
"Our firm belief is that this will be stronger if this is implemented nationally," Heijboer said.
"We're engaging with the National Transport Authority -- although it's very early days -- to see if there's any appetite for that, to support this from the country level for the UAE."
But the authority is not yet considering whether to subsidise the installation of the meters on barges, as Singapore did but Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges are not doing, Heijboer told Ship & Bunker at the event.
"I think it's too early to say," Heijboer said.
"First of all we need to see how the market responds to the idea, get all that information together, and then we'll see how it looks like from an implementation point of view.
"So that's currently not on the table."