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SME raises the bar for bunkering
HOME-GROWN SME Sinanju Tankers is the proud recipient of the Bunker Award this year. It owns, operates and manages its modern fleet of eight double-hulled bunker tankers to deliver marine fuel to ships in Singapore and Dubai.
The company was founded 25 years ago with just two wooden barges at a time when there were no industry-recognised procedures and standards for the delivery of marine fuel.
Sinanju's managing director Ju Kai Meng says: "My staff and I are delighted to receive this award and are very encouraged to be recognised by MPA and our clients who nominated us. We owe this success to our excellent partnership with them developed over the years, and also the commendable teamwork of my 220 shore staff and crew on board our ships. This award has made our 25th anniversary milestone even more memorable."
As a leading bunker tanker owner and operator in the Port of Singapore, Sinanju has built up a reputation of being steadfast in carrying out its operations with utmost integrity, reliability and safety.
"We are truly committed to helping to raise Singapore's bunkering standards. Our ships, staff and crew have been unstinting in their years of participation in research trials and work groups that have led to the adoption of new technology to benefit our bunkering industry in terms of advancement and increased productivity and efficiency," says Mr Ju.
Sinanju has been supporting the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's efforts to transform global bunkering procedures. It was among the first in Singapore to retrofit its bunker tankers with mass flow meters (MFM) for operations and test bedding to develop the industry technical reference TR48:2015 in MFM bunkering.
"To this day we continue to champion MFM bunkering. During these initial months since mandatory MFM bunkering was implemented on Jan 1 2017, we realised that some crew from ocean-going ships were unfamiliar with the new MFM bunkering procedures when bunkering with us. We thus initiated a complimentary service of providing independent bunker surveyors to guide them," says Mr Ju.
Sinanju is an active member of the MPA working group for electronic bunker delivery note to look into enhancing efficiency and transparency for bunkering in Singapore, among other bunkering related industry working groups.
To further enhance its continued endeavour of adopting new technology in bunkering, Sinanju is currently exploring a couple of projects with various stakeholders.
It is also a successful applicant for MPA's LNG bunkering pilot programme. MPA has started the LNG bunkering pilot programme as a platform to test operational procedures and safety protocols for LNG bunkering. The aim is to prepare the port of Singapore to be ready to service a range of vessels when LNG becomes widely adopted as part of the marine fuel mix.
Sinanju has received seed funding under the MPA LNG bunkering pilot programme that will go towards building a dual fuelled engine bunker tanker. When operational in 2019, this vessel will be among Singapore's first bunker tankers the engines of which would be capable of running on both marine gas oil and LNG to boost the use of LNG as a bunker fuel.
Sinanju says that it is dedicated to service excellence, quality and reliability of its operations.
As for plans to grow the company's business, Mr Ju says: "Being a humble home-grown SME company does not mean we are unable to take bold steps in turning big dreams into reality. We view this Bunker Award as an affirmation that we should continue our endeavours - in embracing technological advances in our operations and spurring higher standards for bunkering in Singapore.
"There is a Chinese proverb 'When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.' In Sinanju's succession planning, my general manager, Mr Desmond Chong, and our next generation management team are in place to play an even more active role in bringing the company to the next level. We have come a long way since our founding in 1992 and we are looking towards establishing ourselves as a world class shipping company."