Single-Supplier Ports Likely to Be Next Locations for MFMs: 2050 Marine Energy

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday June 14, 2024

Ports with a single bunker supplier are the most likely locations to be next to take on mass flow meters as a means of measuring delivery more accurately, according to bunker industry veteran Adrian Tolson.

Tolson, the owner of consultancy 2050 Marine Energy, was speaking in a webinar on MFMs hosted by industry body BIMCO on Wednesday.

"I think single-regulator ports, with single suppliers -- we'll start to see more and more of those," Tolson told Ship & Bunker at the event.

"Multi-supplier ports are more challenging."

Singapore has had mandatory MFM use in place since 2017, and Rotterdam and Antwerp are set to impose the regulation from 2026. Fujairah has discussed following suit, but no timeline for that change is currently in place.

The systems are a means of measuring bunker deliveries more accurately, with a view to eliminating quantity disputes.

Port authorities may be hesitant about mandating the use of MFMs on the concern that regulation of this kind may drive business away to neighbouring locations. Equally, individual suppliers may be wary of struggling to compete on price with competitors that are less scrupulous about delivering every tonne of fuel that is paid for.

Nonetheless, the use of the systems continues to expand, with large suppliers like TFG Marine taking them on and the authorities at Sohar also recently mandating MFM use for bunkering.

"I think we've reached a tipping-point," Tolson said.

"There's a significant need for an accurate way of recording delivery quantities.

"Simply an estimate from a ship owner as to how much fuel they consumed on a certain voyage is no longer going to be acceptable.

"This takes time, but I do think we'll reach a tipping-point where more and more ports will join in on the process."