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Argus Media: B30-MGO blend premium to MGO narrows to seven-month low

Premium of marine biodiesel with 30pc advanced Fame and 70pc marine gasoil (MGO) in ARA on a dob basis to conventional MGO narrowed to $4.92/t on 13 September, its lowest since February.




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The premium of marine biodiesel with 30pc advanced fatty acid methyl ester (Fame) and 70pc marine gasoil (MGO) in ARA on a dob basis to conventional MGO narrowed to $4.92/t on 13 September, its lowest since February.

14 September 2023

Marine biodiesel blends with MGO as the conventional fuel component may gain traction ahead of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) scheme which begins next year. Shipowners looking to minimise their ETS costs may turn to the marine biodiesel blend. Argus calculations showed that a B30 blend comprising Fame and MGO was assessed at a $79.95/t discount to conventional MGO when CO2 ETS costs are factored in, the lowest recorded since 1 February.

Some participants have told Argus that it may become more cost-efficient to utilise marine biodiesel blends with MGO for vessels without scrubbers in Emission Control Areas (ECA). ECA zones limit the sulphur content of fuels vessels can burn to 0.1pc, with the Mediterranean being the latest addition to ECA zones globally. Market participants reported sufficient supply of the B30 MGO blend in ARA. But some noted tighter prompt availability of the blended product, reporting a required notice period of 7-10 days for delivery by barge.

Conventional dob MGO prices in ARA averaged an outright price of $932.28/t so far this month, a $47/t increase on August's average. At this level, MGO was at its highest monthly average since November 2022. MGO values firmed in recent sessions on the back of tight gasoil supply in the region. Tighter gasoil supply may incentivise refiners to redirect distillate blendstocks away from the MGO pool towards diesel products that generally command a higher premium. Market participants have also reported tightening availability of MGO in recent sessions because of lower supplies of blending components at the hub.

By Hussein Al-Khalisy

Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 18 September, 2023

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Peninsula and NYK collaborate on B30 biofuel bunkering op in Zeebrugge

Peninsula barge “New York” delivered 1,200 mt of B30 bio bunker fuel to “Garnet Leader”, a NYK vehicle carrier on 24 March in Zeebrugge, Belgium.





Peninsula and NYK collaborate on B30 biofuel bunkering op in Zeebrugge

Marine fuel supplier Peninsula on Monday (22 April) announced the successful conclusion of the first B30 biofuel supply deal in Zeebrugge, Belgium, in collaboration with the Japanese shipping company, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). 

The deal, which marks a significant milestone in sustainable fuel distribution, saw the delivery of 1,200 metric tonnes (mt) of B30. 

The delivery, executed on 24 March involved the vessel Garnet Leader, a NYK vehicle carrier. 

Peninsula's barge New York, played the role of ensuring the transportation and delivery of the biofuel to its destination in Zeebrugge.

Kaori Takahashi, General Manager of NYK’s Fuel Group, said: “NYK is proud to collaborate with Peninsula in this pioneering supply of B30 biofuel, which underscores our dedication to environmental sustainability and innovation in the maritime sector.”

“By leveraging sustainable biofuels like B30, we are taking meaningful strides towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“NYK remains dedicated to driving positive change within the industry while meeting the evolving demands of our customers and stakeholders.”

B30 biofuel, a blend comprising 30% ISCC EU certified sustainable UCOME, which is biofuel derived from Used Cooking Oil, offers a promising avenue reducing GHG emissions by 84%, thus mitigating the environmental impact of maritime operations. 

By using biofuel technology, Peninsula continues to pave the way for a greener future while simultaneously meeting the evolving needs of the shipping industry.

Peninsula's Head of Biofuels Desk, Nikolas Nikolaidis, said: "As the maritime industry, along with prominent players like NYK, intensifies their adoption of Sustainable Marine Fuels (SMF), the accessibility of such solutions grows in significance.”

“Peninsula is committed to collaborating closely with our established clients and partners to deliver SMF solutions where demand is highest.”

“Peninsula is broadening its biofuel supply network, positioning itself as the leading physical marine fuel supplier to offer comprehensive biofuel solutions across multiple regions and ports for our customers."


Photo credit: Peninsula and NYK
Published: 23 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

ENGINE on Fuel Switch Snapshot: VLSFO holds firm

High demand and low stocks make VLSFO resilient to Brent; rising concerns of supply disruption drive LNG prices higher; bio-bunker premium over conventional VLSFO narrows further.





ENGINE on Fuel Switch Snapshot: VLSFO holds firm

Once a week, bunker intelligence platform ENGINE will publish a snapshot of alternative and conventional bunker fuel prices in the world’s two biggest bunkering hubs. The following is the latest snapshot: 

  • High demand and low stocks make VLSFO resilient to Brent
  • Rising concerns of supply disruption drive LNG prices higher
  • Bio-bunker premium over conventional VLSFO narrows further

Rotterdam's price premium of LNG over HSFO has increased by $7/mt to $9/mt, after a modest rise in the price of LNG in the past week. HSFO remains the cheapest fuel alternative in Rotterdam.

When the estimated EU ETS cost is included in the bunker fuel costs for voyages between the EU and a non-EU port, Rotterdam LNG’s $4/mt discount to HSFO has flipped to a $4/mt premium in the past week. For a ship sailing from Rotterdam to another EU port with estimated EU ETS costs included, LNG now has only a $1/mt price advantage over its HSFO, compared to $9/mt the week prior.

LNG’s discount to B24-VLSFO in Rotterdam has narrowed even further by $18/mt in the past week, even when estimated EU ETS costs are added to the price. Rotterdam’s LNG is priced at $210-221/mt discount to its B24-VLSFO.

Rotterdam’s B24-VLSFO premium over pure VLSFO has dropped even further by $13-14/mt over the past week, to $87-109/mt.


Rotterdam’s VLSFO benchmark has inched lower by $1/mt in the past week, despite a $30/mt decline in front-month ICE Brent futures. When the price of Dec24 EU Allowances (EUAs) for voyages between two EU ports is added to the VLSFO price, the overall price decreases by $5/mt.

VLSFO demand in Rotterdam has remained steady in the past week, sources told ENGINE. Two traders have reported strong VLSFO demand in the port. Availability is mostly normal, but securing the grade for very prompt dates (0-2 days) can be difficult, the sources added.

The ARA region’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 5% lower so far this month than across March, according to Insights Global data.

Steady demand in Rotterdam and a drop in the wider ARA region's fuel inventories seem to have supported the benchmark's resistance against Brent's downward pull.

Singapore’s VLSFO benchmark has seen a modest $3-5/mt decrease in the past week, depending on whether the price is adjusted with the estimated EUA price for a voyage to an EU port.

Demand for bigger VLSFO stems seems to have increased in Singapore. ENGINE recorded 15 VLSFO stems in Singapore in the wide price band of $634-653/mt. Three 1,500 mt stems were priced in the lower price band between $634-648/mt and seven 500-1,500 mt stems were priced between $643-649/mt.


Rotterdam’s B24-VLSFO HBE bunker price has moved $15-18/mt lower in the past week, to $719-790/mt, depending on whether the fuel is estimated to be consumed on a voyage to an EU port or not.

PRIMA-assessed palm oil mill effluent methyl ester (POMEME) in the ARA dropped by $72/mt on the week, which has put downward pressure on bio-bunker prices in Rotterdam. POMEME-based biofuels are eligible for Dutch advanced biofuel (HBE) rebates.

Singapore’s B24-VLSFO UCOME bunker price has inched only $2-3/mt lower to $761-796/mt.

Prompt bio-bunker availability is tight in Singapore, two sources say. This has partly prevented prices of the most sought-after biofuel blend, B24-VLSFO UCOME, from dropping steeply in the past week.


Rotterdam’s LNG bunker benchmark has remained roughly steady in the past week.

Concerns that European LNG supply could be disrupted if the Middle East conflict escalates further and the possibility of a Hormuz Strait blockade by Iran have kept the price afloat. The Strait of Hormuz plays a crucial role in LNG transportation. Qatar alone accounts for around 20% of global LNG trade passing through this choke point.

Singapore’s LNG bunker prices has seen a significant rise of $35-37/mt in the past week. This is because the NYMEX Japan/Korea contract rolled from May to a higher-priced June contract last week, which has raised the JKM benchmark.

By Konica Bhatt and Erik Hoffmann


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 23 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: MPA receives 50 submissions for EOI to supply methanol bunker fuel in Singapore

Over 60 regional and international companies, comprising energy firms, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EOI, says MPA.





SMW 2024: MPA receives 50 submissions for EOI to supply methanol bunker fuel in Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday (17 April) updated participants on Singapore’s methanol and ammonia bunkering capability developments, and net-zero pathways for the domestic harbour craft sector at the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference. 

MPA said it received a total of 50 submissions, out of which 40% of them proposed end-to-end solutions covering all three areas highlighted in the expression of interest (EOI) for the supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore.

The EOI sought proposals covering three areas; methanol supply, methanol bunkering operating model at commercial scale, and alternatives to the physical transfer of methanol molecules to Singapore, to enable a resilient fuel supply to meet the needs of methanol-capable vessels in Singapore in the coming years. 

“Over 60 regional and international companies comprising energy companies, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EOI, which MPA said signalled clear business confidence in Singapore as a key offtake location for methanol by international shipping,” it said. 

The EOI was launched last year following the completion of the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering in Singapore in the same year.

Based on consultations with the industry, MPA said the demand for methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore can potentially exceed one million tons per annum (MTPA) before 2030, subject to the pace of developments of supply chains, infrastructure, and regulations globally.

The proposals received for the low carbon methanol supply and delivery are promising, with several projects already in operation or have crossed Final Investment Decision. 

On aggregate, these projects have the potential to supply over one MTPA of low-carbon methanol by 2030, subject to commercial decisions and global developments. 

Many of the companies plan to use ready storage infrastructure in Singapore and will partner craft operators to build or procure bunker tankers capable of carrying and delivering methanol, taking into consideration MPA’s safety and quality assurance standards, crew training requirements, and methanol bunker tanker specifications. 

The proposals received provide strong indications that the industry is preparing for methanol bunker demand to scale up in the coming years, most notably seen in the scheduled delivery of Type II bunker tankers capable of supplying methanol this year.

Insights from the EOI submissions will inform the development of the methanol bunkering regulatory framework to ensure the safe and efficient supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore at a commercial scale. 

MPA and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), through Singapore Standards Council (SSC), are developing national standards on methanol and also ammonia bunkering. 

The standards aim to ensure the safe operations and handling of these fuels and will support the maritime industry’s transition to sustainable alternative fuels. They span areas including custody transfer requirements, operational and safety requirements for the delivery of methanol and ammonia from a bunker tanker to receiving vessels, as well as crew training and competencies. The standards for methanol are expected to be published by EnterpriseSG in 2025. 

MPA’s regulatory framework for methanol bunkering licence is expected to be finalised in the coming months. MPA will call for applications for a licence to supply methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore by the end of the year.

“MPA will work closely with the consortiums on the selected chain-of-custody proposals on pilots that assess the feasibility of these approaches and methods, with the aim for further development on a global scale,” it added.

Development of ammonia bunkering capabilities

In March 2024, the world’s first ocean-going ammonia-powered vessel, Fortescue Green Pioneer, successfully conducted its first fuel trial in Singapore4 over a period of six weeks. 

The Fortescue Green Pioneer received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the ‘Gas Fuelled Ammonia’ notation by classification society DNV to use ammonia, in combination with diesel, as a marine fuel. 

A second tranche of three tonnes of liquid ammonia will be loaded for the Fortescue Green Pioneer to conduct further tests and trials over the next few weeks.

MPA and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) are currently reviewing proposals to develop an end-to-end solution to provide low- or zero-carbon ammonia for power generation and bunkering on Jurong Island. 

The proposals were submitted by the shortlisted consortiums from MPA and EMA’s EOI in a restricted Request for Proposal(RFP). The bidders will be further shortlisted and MPA and EMA will work with the

selected parties on the pre-Front End Engineering Design (pre-FEED) study for ammonia import terminals, ammonia bunkering and ammonia power generation. The pre-FEED is intended to confirm the technical and economic feasibility of the project before MPA and EMA select a lead developer for the project with the government by Q1 2025.

MPA will also be inviting shipping companies with intentions to transport ammonia, or which are already transporting ammonia, to participate in an open non binding Request for Information (RFI) to quote the shipping and insurance cost of ammonia from potential source locations to Singapore. Participants may identify ammonia demand hubs between the source country and Singapore in order that the demand can be aggregated to reap economies of scale in the shipping of ammonia. 

Interested parties are invited to visit to access the RFI document. Submission will close on 17 May 2024, 2359 hrs (Singapore time).

Electrification transition of domestic harbour craft fleet

In January 2024, MPA announced three vessel charging concepts to be piloted in Singapore following the call for proposal to develop, operate, and maintain electric harbour craft (e-HC) charging points in Singapore. 

The first charging point pilot, installed by Pyxis and SP Mobility, was recently launched at Marina South Pier.

Insights from the data collected will contribute towards the development of a national e-HC charging infrastructure masterplan, implementation plan, and national standards for e-HC charging infrastructure. MPA is also working with Enterprise Singapore, industry stakeholders and academia to develop a Technical Reference (TR) for e-HC charging and battery swap system. The draft TR is now available for public consultation via

In February 2024, MPA also shortlisted a total of 11 passenger launch and cargo lighter vessel designs following an EOI for e-HC design proposals. 

MPA is currently working with Research Institutes and Institutes of Higher Learning to enhance the various vessel designs and reduce their energy requirements. When ready, the reference designs can be progressively marketed, and production orders aggregated from the industry. This is expected to reap overall cost savings for companies making a transition to e-HC.

MPA has received 12 financing and seven insurance proposals in response to the EOI launched in October 2023 to support early adopters of e-HC. 

Several banks have expressed interest in offering direct debt financing options for harbour craft owners. The response to the EOI has also affirmed the strong interest from financial institutions and intermediaries in offering alternative financing solutions beyond debt financing to support the sector’s transition to e-HC. In the next phase of the EOI process, MPA will issue a closed call for proposals to shortlist the alternative financing proposal(s) for implementation. MPA will share more on the next steps in the next few months.

The insurance related submissions have highlighted that the proposed insurance premiums for e-HC are comparable to that of conventional harbour craft. To address the feedback received from EOI participants who had submitted insurance proposals, MPA will be consulting the industry to put in place supportive mechanisms to help right-price the premiums. These mechanisms could include setting up of a data repository platform, development of training programmes to promote safety awareness and best practices for e-HC operations, as well as establishing quality assurance framework(s) and mechanisms.

Aside from electrification, biofuel blends of up to B50 are already commercially available. In 2023, 520,000 tonnes of biofuel blends were supplied, which more than tripled from 140,000 tonnes in 2022. MPA is working with industry to develop the standards for up to B100, which is expected to be completed by 2025.

Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: Fortescue successfully conducts world’s first ammonia bunker fuel trial in Singapore
Related: Singapore to select developer for low-carbon ammonia solution for power generation and bunkering
Related: SMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: MPA launches first pilot trial for electric harbour craft charging point in Singapore
Related: Singapore: MPA calls for proposals to design electric harbour craft
Related: MPA: Singapore to trial vessel charging concepts for electric harbour craft
Related: Singapore: MPA shortlists 11 proposals for fully electric harbour craft EOI
Related: MPA: Financiers and insurers ready to support electrification of the domestic harbour craft sector

Other links related to SMW 2024: 

Related: SMW 2024: Ken Energy and Green COP partner to advance bio bunker fuels in Singapore
Related: SMW 2024: Seatrium, A*STAR to explore new energies and AI for offshore and marine uses
Related: SMW 2024: Pacific Environment, Ulsan Port Authority to accelerate zero-emission shipping and ports
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister
Related: SMW 2024: MPA partners with S&P Global and Bunkerchain in digital ship identity
Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 18 April 2024

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