Equatorial launches sustainable energy business unit, commits towards multi-fuel future
Singapore bunker supplier Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services Pte Ltd (EMF) has launched a sustainable energy business unit to support maritime decarbonisation, learned bunkering publication Manifold Times.
“The Sustainable Energy business unit started in July 2023 and we created this dedicated business unit to show our commitment towards a sustainable future,” explained Choong Zhen Mao, Executive Director of EMF, on Thursday (31 August).
“While EMF has already been actively participating in the maritime decarbonisation space for the past number of years, such is the complexities of maritime decarbonisation that we recognised the need for a more professional, systematic and sustainable approach to develop this new area of business.”
According to Mr Choong, the unit’s primary functions are to drive the company towards maritime decarbonisation through the provision of research and development support for deeper understanding of the technical and commercial viability of alternate marine fuels and other related projects.
“The new unit will plan and manage the development of EMF’s existing and new low- and zero-carbon marine fuels and sustainability projects and businesses,” he shared.
“This includes supporting and advising on the company’s various business units on decarbonisation regulations and requirements while engaging the wider maritime industry, institutes of higher learning, research agencies and technology firms for their insights.”
So Kah Meng, EMF’s Sustainable Energy Manager, was positive towards the adoption of biofuel and methanol as a marine fuel in the coming years.
“While there are several alternative fuels that are developing, EMF sees the main alternate marine fuels in the next few years to be LNG, biofuel and methanol,” he stated.
“This is, of course, subject to international regulatory changes. We have already seen IMO’s approval of the usage of certified sustainable biofuels to improve a ship’s CII rating, whereas the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) will be extended to maritime transport from 2024. It should not go unnoticed that the IMO will finalise a pricing mechanism, that will be enforced on maritime emissions, by 2025.
“Biofuel is a proven drop-in fuel. Methanol is increasingly gaining popularity and there are a good number of deliveries of dual fuel vessels that are methanol-ready from 2024 onwards.
“We are also looking at non-conventional options for our clients to be able to bind carbon credits with the fuels supplied, thereby providing a carbon neutral solution.”
The prospect of supporting ammonia and hydrogen as a bunker fuel has also been within the scope of EMF’s research.
“We have invested in studying ammonia as a marine fuel and kept in close contact with the various classification societies and relevant institutions to understand the fuel in relation to existing and future technologies,” added Mr Choong.
“As a leading bunker supplier in Singapore, we will have to be nimble and progressive in our business model to be able to provide different types of bunker fuels and decarbonisation solutions.”
In 2022, Equatorial was ranked by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore as the largest bunker supplier by volume in Singapore.