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Testing begins on bunker fuel blockchain

Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), a partnership between Lloyd’s Register Foundation and BLOC to explore the use of blockchain for the maritime industry, has announced its first demonstrator project, a fuel provenance register that aims to provide trusted information about fuel origin, journey and characteristics.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The latest phase of the project will involve the further development and scaling of the system, capturing fuel deliveries and associated verified data into the blockchain. It is intended that this will be undertaken by a consortium formed of ship owners or operators, fuel suppliers, port authorities and a fuel testing body.

MBL’s platform provides a chain of custody on quality and quantity documentation points for stakeholders within the supply chain, using Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology. MBL says that it is now inviting interest from stakeholders within its target groups to join and co-sponsor this next phase of work, expected to begin from January 2019.

A prototype of the digital fuel assurance system was developed earlier in 2018 together with a consortium including the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), LR’s FOBAS team, Bostomar, Heidmar, BIMCO, Goodfuels and Precious Shipping. The demonstrator phase of the project was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Testing in a simulated environment with the consortium was conducted in September 2018, with the demonstrator closing with the prototype being used for the manual capture of the world’s first end to end fuel transaction on a blockchain in the Port of Rotterdam.

“The recently concluded MEPC73 showed us that there are still burning questions about the availability of compliant fuels post-2020 – and the current epidemic of bad bunker, as it’s been called by Intertanko and others, shows that building traceability and trust in the marine fuels supply chain is one of the most vital issues facing shipping right now,” said Deanna MacDonald, CEO of BLOC.

“Our demonstrator phase has shown us that dealing with marine fuels’ quality and quantity assurance is an industry wide issue, and that the industry is looking to work together to solve this issue. We’ve built something that, for the first time, will allow stakeholders across the global shipping industry to verify and validate transactions across the fuels supply chain.”{/mprestriction}

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