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Algeciras: Decreasing bunker volumes concern industry association

09 Sep 2018

Decreasing bunker sales volumes at Algeciras port has reportedly prompted the Association of Service Companies of the Bay of Algeciras (AESBA) to hold a meeting with the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA) to voice concerns.

An earlier meeting has concluded shipowners and operators bypassing Algeciras and conducting more bunkering operations at surrounding ports such as Ceuta, Las Palmas and Gibraltar.

Records indicated Algeciras posting bunker sales of 974,000 metric tonnes (mt) in 2016; 775,000 mt in 2017; and slightly more than 500,000 mt from start of the year till July 2018,” according to El Estrecho Digital.

"If the activity of services to the ship in the port of Algeciras is a train, the locomotive is the bunker,” said Manuel Piedra, President of AESBA.

“This activity is the one that decides where other operations are carried out, such as the change of crews, the delivery of waste, other refreshments […].

“Regardless of whether we carry out an important bunkering activity with ships that dock at Acerinox, at the Cepsa refinery in San Roque or at the container terminals, we are concerned about the loss of market in ships that cross the Strait. 

“It is not, as happened a few years ago, that global trade slows down and affects all ports, but that there are other docks that benefit from these traffics.”

Vessel traffic to Algeciras dropped from 2,672 in 2016 to 1,980 in 2017, while a total of 919 vessels called at Algeciras port from start of the year till July 2018.

"The activity so far this year repeats the downward trend,” adds Piedra.

The number of bunker suppliers at Algeciras has dropped from five to three, currently: Cepsa, Repsol and Peninsula. 

Published: 10 September, 2018

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