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Argus Media: Fuel oil bunkering to linger despite new GHG rule

IMO revised greenhouse gas regulation for marine fuel will dent residual fuel oil demand, but the market could persist on demand from oil tanker and dry bulk vessel owners.




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The International Maritime Organisation (IMO)'s revised greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation for marine fuel will dent residual fuel oil demand, but the market could persist on demand from oil tanker and dry bulk vessel owners, and on production from decarbonised petroleum refineries.

1 August 2023

The IMO in July changed its marine fuel emissions directive from emissions from combustion (tank-to-wake) to lifecycle emissions (well-to-wake). Before that decision, ship owners were looking to mitigate emissions from fuel combustion only. Some were mulling installing sulphur oxide (SOx) and CO2-capturing scrubbers on board of their vessels, continuing to burn high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO), and paying to dispose of the captured CO2. Following the IMO July ruling, ship owners also have to take into consideration well-to-tank emissions generated during refinery production and transportation of the fuel to a bunkering port.

IMO members agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20pc, and preferably 30pc, by 2030; by at least 70pc, and preferably 80pc, by 2040; and to net zero by 2050, from 2008 base levels. If ship owners are able to dispose of their on-board captured CO2 and oil refiners can decarbonise their refineries at costs below the price of sustainable marine fuels, then residual fuel oil and marine gasoil (MGO) for bunkering demand could persist past 2040. Oil tanker and dry bulk carrier owners will likely be the two types of vessel owners to continue to burn fuel oil and MGO. They do not have the same customer and shareholder pressures to decarbonise compared with their counterparts from the container ship and cruise ship sectors.

Container shipping companies — including Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express, CMA-CGM, Matson, and Evergreen — and cruise ship companies — including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise and Carnival — had pledged net zero emissions by 2050, even before the IMO rule change. These companies have been actively exploring the use of biofuels and are commissioning methanol-burning, methanol-ready and ammonia-ready vessels. Their investors and clients are likely to dismiss the idea of well-to-wake carbon-neutral fuel oil and MGO as a form of green washing and vote with their dollars to continue the course of sustainable fuels.

Container ships, bulk carriers and tankers were the biggest marine fuel consuming vessel categories. Internationally, containerships burned 61.7mn t residual fuel oil and MGO, while bulk carriers burned 57.9mn t and tankers burned 41.4mn t. Those volumes represent 31pc, 29pc and 21pc, respectively, of fuel oil and MGO demand, according to the latest IMO data, from 2021. Cruise ships burned 3.2mn t, or 2pc. IMO's marine fuel data collection system takes into account ships above 5,000 gross tonnes.

On a tank-to-wake basis, HSFO and very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) emit 3.114 grams of CO2 per gram of fuel (gCO2/g fuel) burned, according to IMO's guidelines on lifecycle greenhouse gas intensity of marine fuels. On a well-to-tank basis, HSFO emits 0.599 gCO2/g fuel and VLSFO emits 0.675 gCO2/g fuel, for total well-to-wake emissions of 3.713 and 3.789 gCO2/g fuel, respectively. MGO emits about 0.756 gCO2/g from well-to-tank and 3.206 gCO2/g from tank-to-wake for total of about 3.962 gCO2/g well-to-wake.

In July, carbon-free fuels such as B100 biodiesel, bio-methanol, green hydrogen and green ammonia were priced at 2, 4.4, 4.6 and 4.9 times the price of VLSFO in northwest Europe, Argus assessments showed.

By Stefka Wechsler


Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 2 August, 2023

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Poland: ORLEN to strengthen position in bunker fuels sector with new oil terminal

With the terminal’s commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports with conventional marine fuels and biofuels.





ORLEN oil terminals

Polish multinational oil refiner ORLEN Group on Wednesday (12 June) said it is solidifying its presence in the marine fuels market with the construction of a new oil terminal that is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2025.

Construction of the Martwa Wisła terminal, located on the Martwa Wisła river, has already exceeded 70%.

The Martwa Wisła terminal will enhance the logistics capabilities of the Gdańsk refinery, allowing for the transshipment of approximately 2 million tonnes of fuel products annually.

The first four loading arms have already arrived at the construction site and the remaining four loading arms are slated for delivery by the end of June. The devices, with a throughput capacity of up to 500m³/h, will be used at transshipment points to load tankers.

With the terminal's commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) with conventional fuels and biofuels.

For over 20 years, the Group has been supplying quality marine fuels to all Polish seaports. Its refinery product portfolio encompasses a wide range of fuels that guarantee quality and strict compliance with regulations, including MGO (DMA 0.1%S), ULSFO (RMD80 0.1% S) and LNG, which will in the near future be complemented with ‘green’ alternatives.

All marine fuels offered by ORLEN comply with the international ISO 8217:2017 standard and meet the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.


Photo credit: ORLEN Group
Published: 14 June 2024

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Australia: Crew of bunker tanker “Champion 63” to strike following employer’s refusal to negotiate

‘BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low,’ states MUA spokesman.





Champion 63

The crew of Champion 63, a 2022-built Australia-registered bunker tanker with home port of Brisbane, is set to go on strike after bargaining for a new enterprise agreement has stalled, stated the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on Wednesday (12 June).

Members of the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and MUA voted up protected industrial action on 11 June 2024.

The crews have been trying to formalise their employment conditions with ASP Ship Management since the bunkering operations commenced in February 2023. It took ASP approximately six months to issue the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) and start bargaining.

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“The crew of the new bunker barge on the Brisbane River and the maritime unions bent over backwards to make this vessel work,” said MUA Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Gallagher.

“Including low wages, excessive hours and a roster that does not allow crew to take leave. 18 months down the track when it comes time for BP to reward their crew and pay industry standards what do they do? They deny them fair wages, a workable roster and threaten their back pay!”

The AMOU filed a bargaining dispute after ASP refused to take their claim for a roster that does not demand that crews work every weekend seriously.

“Having to work every weekend because ASP does not have suitable relief arrangements is unacceptable,” said AMOU Industrial Officer Tracey Ellis.

“Crews have a right to be rostered time off to spend with their family. Waiting for ASP to fix the issue did not work, filing a Bargaining Dispute in the Fair Work Commission did not work, so the crews will take protected industrial action until their concerns are taken seriously.”

The crews onboard the Champion 63 voted up an unlimited number of stoppages of work of between one hour and 48 hours.

Gallagher added that, “the Maritime unions will not tolerate the big multinational fuel barons of this world undermining the Australian maritime wages and conditions of seven local mariners who are trying their best to support our own local shipping and Cruise Ship industry. If your cruise holiday gets delayed it is because, after recording over $40 billion profit in last two years, BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low.”


Photo credit: Maritime Union of Australia
Published: 13 June 2024


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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.





Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (, which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website ( to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”


Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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