Blockchain and DNA-based marine fuels tracking solution BunkerTrace goes live
On Friday, BunkerTrace, the unique blockchain and DNA- based fuels tracking solution, announced its commercial launch shortly after a successful trial in the Netherlands on Thursday, October 3, which was conducted in partnership with Cooperative Bebeka. Announcing the launch at Aracon, BunkerTrace is now ready to receive requests for commercial partnerships and adoption by bunker suppliers, ports and operators.
The solution, which adds DNA markers to fuel at every stage of the supply chain and records each transaction in a blockchain-based system, has already received significant interest from ports, bunker suppliers and vessel operators.
Harry Vasse, General Director at Cooperative Bebeka, commented:
“Managing the energy procurement now and in the future has our highest priority. Energy procurement is about sustainability, transparency and environment. CSR reporting takes place at boardroom level since company reputation is at stake. With the product portfolio in the marine energy market becoming increasingly complex and diverse in the near future our focus is on expertise and continuously developing of member protection tools and this is why we fully support the BunkerTrace initiative. Combining these two revolutionary technologies will provide the Cooperative and its members with an independent and transparent method for managing fuel quality throughout the bunker chain. Furthermore, it will support us in identifying the most reliable and trustworthy supply chains and streamline compliance.”
BunkerTrace CEO Marc Johnson commented:
“As IMO 2020 approaches, we’re seeing fundamental changes to the dynamics of the bunkering market, which in turn creates uncertainty and risk: risk for owners, charterers, credit providers and financiers in the fuels they buy or fund; risk for insurers in establishing the risks they must manage; risk for operators and the fuels they burn; and for enforcers policing the fuels market. That’s why BunkerTrace exists.
“We’d like to thank all our industry partners, colleagues, friends and supporters who’ve helped us get this far so quickly. From Maritime Blockchain Labs’ first consortium in early 2018 to our successful pilot operation in Antwerp/Vlissingen some weeks ago, we’ve come a long way. However, there’s a long journey ahead and we’re inviting stakeholders throughout the industry to join us here.”
By combining blockchain and DNA-based tagging, BunkerTrace creates an immutable audit trail, which follows the fuel and any changes made to it. It also records all activities and sign-offs by actors transacting the fuel. BunkerTrace provides evidence of compliance with IMO 2020 and ensures that at every point in the supply chain, it’s easy for stakeholders to check if the fuel they are moving, loading, buying or selling is the product that it’s meant to be, even if fuel has been blended or mixed.
In the recent trial, a Boskalis-owned dredger, Prins der Nederlanden was bunkered with 900 cubic meters (CBM) of DMA 0.1% sulphur ISO 8217:2010 compliant fuel supplied by Minerva with a unique tracer added. The crew then successfully detected this mark with an on-board analysis case that took less than one minute, with the result of the test logged in a blockchain- based transaction record.
BunkerTrace is a joint venture between Forecast Technology Ltd. and BLOC (Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration). For owners and managers looking to discern the integrity of a fuel product before it’s loaded, BunkerTrace combines digital and forensic technologies to create an inclusive support system that enhances marine fuel traceability and provides a clear chain of custody for better quality assurance in the bunker fuel supply chain. To tag the fuels, it uses ‘oligonucleotides’ (short single strands of synthetic DNA) to provide a virtually unlimited number of unique, secure codes (fingerprints), which are encoded with the information on quality and origin of fuels from the BunkerTrace solution. Taken together, these elements create an immutable chain of custody audit trail that follows the fuel, and any changes made to it, throughout the supply chain and records all activities and sign offs by actors transacting the fuel. The prototype for BunkerTrace was developed by the Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL) consortium, funded by the Lloyds Register Foundation.