Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) will launch a digital bunkering initiative on Nov. 1, making the city-state the first port in the world to use electronic bunker fuel delivery notes, the MPA said on Monday.

The digital notes will replace physical documents containing information on fuel oil deliveries. Under the initiative, fuel suppliers, ship owners, operators and crew will be encouraged to use mobile and cloud-based applications approved by the MPA to complete and issue bunkering documents.

Over 100 trials involving more than 20 companies have been conducted in Singapore since January this year.

One of these companies is container shipping firm Ocean Network Express (ONE), which completed a digital bunkering trial with oil major Shell in September.

The bunkering documents for pre-delivery and post-delivery were transmitted to all parties before the ships departed, ONE said in a statement on Monday.

Feedback will be gathered from users to improve the MPA-approved applications, with plans to make digital bunkering notes mandatory by end-2024, the MPA said.

The applications will also automatically relay bunkering-related information required by the MPA, reducing compliance costs and improving productivity.

The digital approach is expected to streamline workflows and improve crew safety by eliminating the physical transfer of bunker documents between vessels.

New specifications will be laid out for digital bunkering supply chain documentation, the MPA said, and the code of practice for bunker mass flow metering will be revised to support electronic bunkering notes.

MPA is also working with government agencies Enterprise Singapore and Workforce Singapore to support maritime companies in the early adoption of digital bunkering and provide any training needed, it said.

Source: Reuters reported by Jeslyn Lerh and edited by Tom Hogue and Miral Fahmy