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Argus Media: Pertamina eyes VLSFO bunker blending at Sambu by 2023

04 Mar 2021

Sammy Six and Sarah Giam of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Wednesday (3 March) published a summary on the market forces behind Pertamina’s decision to blend its own VLSFO bunker fuel at its Sambu terminal:

Pertamina International Marketing and Distribution (PIMD), the trading arm of Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina, aims to produce its own very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) bunkers for the Singapore bunker market by 2023 at its terminal on Sambu Island, according to market participants.

Pertamina (Persero), PIMD’s parent company, signed an agreement in May 2019 with US-based commodity firm Freepoint Commodities to expand and modernise its TBBM fuel terminal on Sambu, a small island 15km south of Singapore. The fuel terminal has 320,000 kilolitres (2mn bl) of storage capacity and received its first low-sulphur fuel oil cargo from Freepoint Commodities in December.

Freepoint currently blends fuel oil components into finished VLSFO bunkers at the Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas, from where it is shipped to Sambu island.

PIMD uses its terminal at Sambu as one of its ex-wharf supply hubs. The company co-operates six barges that load bunkers at Sambu for delivery to vessels that refuel in Singapore. 

PIMD aims to supply 200,000 t/month of bunkers, or 5pc of total demand, in Singapore. It supplied 20,000t of bunkers in January from Sambu. 

Pertamina owns six refineries in Indonesia and it is a producer of VLSFO and blending components. Its VLSFO bunkers are lower in viscosity, at around 30 centistokes.

Pertamina also produces high-sulphur fuel oil but it is used only in power generation and not for bunkers. But it exports low-sulphur waxy residue from time to time when excess supplies are available after fulfilling domestic refinery feedstock demand, said market participants.

Photo credit and source:
Argus Media
Published: 4 March, 2021

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