VPS Clarification of Fuel Delivery Verification Service

by Captain Rahul Choudhuri, Managing Director – VPS AMEA
Thursday February 15, 2018

This is a follow-up to the recent article regarding Mass Flow Meter (MFM) Fuel Delivery issued on 6th February 2018.  The purpose is to clarify any misunderstandings, or misinterpretations, which may have arisen from any heading assigned to the article by media outlets, or the content, portraying Singapore as experiencing issues relating to the implementation of MFM.  VPS seeks to clarify that the data of 28% cases of non-compliance to TR48 requirements only included and was limited to, those deliveries where the VPS MFM-QS service was employed throughout 2017. In addition, the article was in no way questioning the performance or accuracy of the MFM instrumentation, monitoring or recording capabilities, but purely highlighting the variation in quality of the supply procedures undertaken during the fuel supply processes.

To be clear, the VPS MFM Quick Screen Service (MFM-QS), is not a service set up to question the capabilities or accuracy of the MFM. In fact, it is quite the opposite. This VPS service actually takes the data recorded and monitored by the MFM and thereafter through interpretation by the VPS Flow Technologist of the MFM data, determines whether a fuel delivery has complied with the requirements and specifications of the MPA's TR48 document. In effect it is a service which is a "Delivered Bunker Fuel Profile Analysis" service.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) introduced MFM technology to provide a transparent, reliable and consistent means to ensure accurate fuel delivery. The MFM is a key tool in ensuring compliance with the TR48, which lays out the criteria and specifications relating to bunker fuel delivery. The MFM provides an accurate means to monitor and record such bunker fuel delivery parameters set out within TR48.

The VPS MFM-QS service, provides an additional check and level of assurance for fuel purchasers. By studying the accurate data produced during the bunker fuel delivery by the MFM instrumentation, the service interprets this data to show whether the fuel delivery has complied with up to 23 parameters associated with the TR48. This service also needs input on the MFM operations and documents from the attending bunker surveyor.

So in essence, the VPS service simply uses the accurate MFM measurement of the recorded parameters together with the field survey documents, to determine TR48 procedural and operational compliance. Such parameters include Tank Stripping, Line Clearing, Low Cut-off Values (LFC), the Minimum Measured Quantity (MMQ), Minimum Mass flow Rate (Qmin), Zero Verification, Damping, Aeration and Meter Totalizer Log etc.

The intention of this service has been to redefine the role of the bunker surveying practice in Singapore and other international ports where the focus has now shifted to verifying the output of the MFM rather than insisting on the old methodology of manual measurements. This does not change the primary role of a professional surveying company, which is 'to trust but verify'.

The first year of mandatory MFM fuel delivery in Singapore has shown that the whole fuel delivery system and procedures, require expert performance monitoring and assessment, plus detailed checking of the relevant documentation. As such, guided by the MPA and TR48 requirements, VPS Fuel Delivery Profile Analysis and Investigation Services, plus experienced Flow-Technologist & BQS Surveyors, can provide the expertise to assist in ensuring receipt of accurate, compliant and transparent fuel deliveries.