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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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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.






Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.






Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.


Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.





Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.


Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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