Singapore recently brought together top proponents of methanol bunkering in the city state in preparation for the first trials later this year.

Last week the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) organised a hazard identification (HAZID) and hazard and operability study (HAZOP) workshop, according to a posting on LinkedIn.

“The purpose of the workshop was to ensure the safe handling of methanol fuel in Singapore, in preparation for the first methanol bunkering operation scheduled in the third quarter of 2023,” the MPA said.

Over 40 participants from various parties involved in methanol bunkering attended the workshop including the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Hong Lam Marine, Maersk Oil Trading, Mitsui & Co, and Mitsui & Co Energy Trading Singapore (METS).

In addition, representatives from Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs Singapore, Ministry of Manpower, National Environment Agency, and Civil Defence Force were also present.

“During the two-day workshop, detailed discussions on the planned methanol bunkering operation were held to identify potential risks, establish preventive measures, and develop methods for control and mitigation,” the MPA said.

The maritime regulator said the workshop represented a key milestone for MPA to ensure that Singapore was “ready for methanol bunkering”.

During last month’s Singapore Maritime Week, the MPA confirmed that a methanol bunkering pilot would take place in the third quarter of 2023 in an exercise involving Maersk Oil Trading, Mitsui & Co, METS and ABS.

“The lessons gleaned from this bunkering operation will inform the development of processes and procedures for other maritime fuels under consideration such as ammonia and hydrogen,” the MPA said at the time.

Methanol bunkering infrastructure is already available in Singapore, and the city state has already carried out more than 70 methanol loading and discharging operations for industrial use since 2022.

These operations were conducted across 10 storage tanks at Jurong Island of varying capacities at Vopak Terminals, Stolthaven Terminal, Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS) Terminal, and Chevron Oronite Terminal.

ABS has described methanol as presenting an “immediate and promising solution” with practical advantages in storage, handling and carbon intensity reduction potential.