(EnergyAsia, June 30, Tuesday) — August Energy Pte Ltd’s “BUNKER INDUSTRY: Trading, Pricing & Operating Risks” course held at the Suntec City in Singapore on June 24 and 25 attracted nearly 60 delegates and industry participants.

The event  focused on issues of risk mitigation and management for the bunker business during this difficult period of high volatility, tightened credit and additional uncertainties caused by H1N1 threat and a government crackdown on corrupt practices and fraud.

A panel of 15 local and international speakers was assembled from as far as the UK and the USA to present on current issues and concerns of the bunkering industry.

The course started with a keynote speech on opportunities for oil storage and terminal investment in the Maldives by Ahmed Muneez, managing director of Maldives National Oil Company.

David Ernsberger, Platts’ senior editorial director for Asia, presented “Platts’ Role In the Bunker Trade: Pricing Issues and Risk”, explaining the intricacies of how the company sets spot prices and how these are used to price term contracts.

Government guidance for the bunkering industry was provided in succession by Gerald Loh, assistant director for the marine services department of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and Ang Seow Lian, assistant director at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Giving an “Overview of the Bunker Industry in Singapore: Key Issues”, Mr Loh said the Singapore bunker sales rose 2.6% in the first five months of 2009 compared with the same period last year.

Mr Ang spoke on “CPIB Updates: Safeguarding the Bunkering Industry”, providing valuable insights into the government’s efforts to fight corruption and malpractices in the bunker industry.

Yeo Ek Meng, vice president of clearing and commodities business at the Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX), spoke on “The Perspective of the Clearing Exchange” while Tim Reid, a partner at insolvency and restructuring experts Ferrier Hodgson, spoke on “Preparing for the Coming Downturn in the Shipping Trade.”

Operating and technical issues were then handled by Tan Lay Thok, a member of the technical committee for bunkering at SPRING Singapore, and Yee Peng Fei, principal consultant at Transportation & Logistics Managers Pte Ltd. Mr Tan explained Singapore’s new SS-600 standards while Mr Yee presented the previously established “Quality Management for Bunker Supply Chain (SS 524:2006).”

Day Two started with Mr Muneez presenting “Maldives: Opportunities for Bunkering Business”, showcasing oil storage business opportunities in his country.

Government support for Singapore companies promoting exports was featured by Angeline Chan, head of transport and logistics at IE Singapore, through her speech on “IE Singapore Updates: Expanding Overseas in Turbulent Times”.

Emphasising the course’s theme of risk management were Jennifer Ilkiw, director for Asia Pacific at IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE), presenting: “Clearing and Risk Management for the Bunkering Industry”, and John Phillips, credit manager at Chemoil International Pte Ltd with his talk on “The Perspective of the Bunker Trader.”

Greg Leck, vice president of business development at Triple Point Technology Inc, discussed “The Use of Risk Management Tools and Software”.

Johnson Chan, head of structured trade finance for North Asia at OCBC Hong Kong and vice chairman of the Hong Kong Energy and Minerals United Associations, presented “Financial and Trading Risks Facing the Bunker Trade” while David Anderson, deputy regional manager for Asia-Pacific at Zurich Insurance Company, discussed “Using Credit Insurance to Manage Risk in Volatile Times.“

The final speaker, Paul Butler, regional manager for the Pacific Rim Region at fuel storage terminals specialist HMT Pte Ltd, delivered an expert paper on, “Storage Terminals and the Oil Trade”. He provided delegates with technical details and an update on the growing demand for storage terminals for the oil industry.

Tham Heng Mun, managing director of event producer August Energy closed the conference by sharing with the delegates a brief preview of the coming events the company is preparing for the rest of 2009. Several of the sessions were moderated by Ng Weng Hoong, editor of EnergyAsia.

More information on these can be found at the company’s blog www.bunkercafe.blogspot.com.