Singapore: The clock is counting down the hours to another very significant change in the bunkering sector. Come the end of this year, Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, will kick off a mandatory introduction of mass flow meters in a bid to make bunkering more transparent.
Enforcement dates for the new system to be fitted will apply to all new bunker tankers applying for a bunker tanker licence by the end of this year and for all existing bunker tankers by the end of 2016.
The ruling is very good news for one local tech firm, Ascenz, which has been pioneering fuel monitoring devices for the past six years.
Ascenz started back in 2008 when Chia Yoong Hui, now the firm’s ceo, and his ex-navy friend Sia Teck Chong started discussing the problems shipping faced by consistently high bunker prices. A local shipowner told Chia of the difficulties of monitoring fuel consumption from onshore. They set about looking for solutions. A controller, accessibly remotely, created by Ascenz that tracks bunker usage and sales, is now on more than 180 ships
“The new regulations in Singapore present an opportunity for Ascenz, as we have been installing and supporting mass flow meters for the past six years and our controller provides transparency and efficiency for users,” says Chia.
Beyond Singapore, Ascenz has offices in Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan. The Europe market is up next, Chia says.
Ascenz’s rise has not gone unnoticed. Funding has poured into the tech firm for its increasingly sought after remote fuel monitoring device.
Ascenz is also offering solutions to owners who have issues with affording to buy its technology outright. Its remote fuel monitoring device is now available on lease. Owners can pay a flat monthly fee over three to five years of lease. [02/10/14]