'Cappuccino Bunkers' in Singapore Claim Refuted

Press Release
Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA)  believes that claims of there being entrained air in bunkers supplied in the port are exaggerated

In its press release the SSA said that it understands that the “cappuccino” effect is allegedly due to the presence of entrained air, which may cause the bunker fuel to froth, causing manual measurements to be unreliable. After a period of several days, the froth reportedly subsides, which may result in the apparent “loss” of bunkers. The SSA is of the view, however, that a significant number of reported instances of “frothed” bunker are overly exaggerated and unsubstantiated by hard evidence at the time of loading.

The SSA’s Executive Director, Mr Daniel Tan said, “There are stringent regulations in place in Singapore for the delivery of bunkers to ships. All deliveries in the port must follow SS 600 imposed by the MPA and any non-compliance is subject to sanctions by the MPA.

Additionally, the bunker tankers used for the delivery of bunkers have to comply with the Standards for Port Limit Bunker Tankers and have to go through a satisfactory survey before a Bunker Craft Operator Licence can be issued or renewed.

To top it off, bunker suppliers are also licensed and are required to have a Quality Management for Bunker Supply Chain (Singapore Standard SS524:2006) in place, and this is subjected to an annual audit. In addition, these regulations in place are religiously enforced by the MPA. Therefore, any claim of “Cappuccino” bunkers received in Singapore is unlikely to be upheld”.

Mr Alam Khorshed, the Vice President of Germanischer Lloyd in Singapore and Chairman of SSA’s Bunkering Sub-Committee commented, “The myth of cappuccino in bunkers arises as a result of the physical change of the volume owing to the entrained air bubbles. Unlike cappuccino bubbles in a cup of coffee, where air is breathed in and a couple of proteins are denatured, cappuccino in bunkers does not have a similar effect. Hence, the entrained micro-bubbles of air disappear after some time.

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