ZeroNorth and Vitol Bunkers bring Singapore closer to digitalized bunkering

Vitol Bunkers, a wholly-owned bunker arm of energy and commodities company Vitol, has deployed electronic bunker delivery note (eBDN) solution from technology company ZeroNorth on twelve barges in Singapore, supporting the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) goal of enabling digitalized bunkering.

Vitol Bunkers' barge Marine Future; Archive. Courtesy of Vitol

After teaming up with Vitol Bunkers in February 2024, ZeroNorth is now providing its eBDN solution on Vitol Bunkers’ barges for supply to its shipping customers.

The deployment of eBDN is expected to help Vitol Bunkers streamline workflows, eliminate the risk of manual errors, enhance efficiencies, and reduce costs.

Vitol Bunkers is among the first adopters of eBDN technology that provides optimized bunker procurement, verifies purchased fuel quantities , eliminates delays, ensures smoother transitions, and provides greater data accuracy and quality.

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Rishab Bahl, Managing Director at V-Bunkers, noted that ZeroNorth’s eBDN solution marks a step change in the company bunker delivery processes in line with the objective to reduce emissions through greater operational efficiencies.

Singapore announced the launch of a digital bunkering initiative in November 2023, with plans to make eBDN mandatory and enhance collaboration between bunker buyers and suppliers, enabling better emissions reporting and achieving time and cost savings.

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ZeroNorth is one of the few companies approved by Singapore’s Maritime & Port Authority to provide this service. It currently serves 56 barges and 10 customers in Singapore.

Ng Yi Han, Director (Innovation, Technology & Talent Development) at the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), said: “Digital bunkering can boost the efficiency and transparency of the bunkering process in Singapore. Since the launch of the digital bunkering initiative last November, the MPA is encouraged to see more licensed bunker suppliers, ship owners, and operators, including Vitol Bunkers, adopting digital bunkering solutions. Using the whitelisted solutions, including ZeroNorth’s solution, to complete and issue digital bunkering documents can help save many man-days per year, which companies can redirect to other value-added work.”

Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director, ZeroNorth Bunker, commented: “Singapore is one of the world’s most important bunkering hubs as well as a key market for us. It is a first mover in terms of digital technologies, and we are proud to be supporting customers like Vitol in pioneering their digitalisation strategy.

“Beyond a technical change, the adoption of eBDN has also been a lesson in change management at a massive scale, affecting teams across back office, operations, barge crew, surveyors and chief engineers. By collaborating closely with Vitol Bunkers, we have been able to ensure the smooth transition to eBDN and we look forward to expanding its use to other locations with Vitol Bunkers.”