A snap shot tracking the activity of just one Total Lubmarine barge in Singapore shows how busy our delivery teams are in one of the world’s most important bunkering ports. Using data from the barge’s AIS transmitter we can see how the Marine Talent crisscrosses Singapore harbour making bulk deliveries of lubes at all of the ports main anchorages.
The barges load their lubes from a new blending plant located at Tuas. The plant opened in July 2015 and is Total’s largest with an annual production capacity of 310,000 metric tons. The Asia-Pacific region already accounts for more than 50% of Total Lubmarine’s sales and with increasing shipping flows through the area, demand is growing.
The blending plant supplies this demand and has been built in conjunction with a new import/export jetty enabling direct access to the sea, meaning that raw materials and finished products can be easily unloaded/loaded to delivery and supply vessels.
The photo below shows product tanker BTS Camilla that recently delivered 3,900 m3 of base oil in three main grades to the plant. This volume is equivalent to 200 fully loaded delivery trucks. Transporting products by sea is certainly the simplest and most efficient option.
Once the base oil has been blended with chemical additives to form lubricant products, Total Lubmarine has three 900dwt double-hulled barges operated by our logistics partner Ocean Tankers that deliver lubricants in bulk or barrel to vessels sitting off Singapore. These customised barges are now able to take on products for delivery at the Tuas jetty, taking advantage of its independent pipelines and close proximity to Singapore’s Western sector and Jurong sector anchorages.
The barges, Marine Champion, Marine Prosper and Marine Talent are all constructed with strengthened steel and are double hulled. In terms of safety and build quality, the barges are of the same calibre as large oil tankers, but smaller in size. Built in 2012, they are expertly maintained. Inspections and classification work are carried out by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).
Total uses a crew metric to make sure that all personnel aboard the barges are more than capable of navigating the barge and competently completing a delivery. The same crew members operate a particular barge on each of its outings, meaning they are used to working as a team and know Total’s operating procedures. A mariner with the rank of captain is always at the wheel.
The high quality barges, expert crew and Total Lubmarine’s long-running experience of barge operations in Singapore enable an efficient method of working.