Singapore-based trading firm Synergy Asia Bunkering opens for business
Synergy Asia Bunkering (SAB), a Singapore-based bunker trading firm specialising in deliveries of marine fuel within the Vietnam market, is now officially open for business, says its Director.
“I was part of the Vietnam bunkering industry since 2011 and found several shipowners and customers overlooking it as a bunkering port due to potential disputes, issues with ISO specs and other factors,” Steven Low told Manifold Times in an exclusive interview.
“We have heard concerns from owners on bunkering in Vietnam covering quality and quantity, and the acceptance of one-sided contractual terms and conditions.
“As a solution provider familiar with these problems, I thought it will be a good idea to start a business focusing on this niche area to offer confidence to shipowners calling at Vietnam for bunkers.”
Vietnam National Petroleum Group, or Petrolimex, is the main bunker supplier in Vietnam; however, the firm only offers bunker avails based on its own terms and conditions which may not be suitable for the international market.
“At the end of the day, everyone can go to Petrolimex to get bunkers. However, players must understand, in this case, bunker contracts are in accordance to their own specifications,” he says.
“This is where SAB comes in, as we are able to offer flexibility in shipowners’ bunker needs such as bunker contracts on BIMCO terms, while guaranteeing avails being bought at a minimum of ISO 8217:2005 specs.”
Even though bunker contamination cases of styrene and phenol are unheard of in Vietnam, Low assures SAB is still able to arrange for lab reports on contaminants prior to bunker deliveries.
“Vietnam has a coastal line of 1,600 km and there are at least 22 major ports a vessel can lift bunkers at,” Low notes.
“We are familiar with all different Petrolimex divisions responsible for bunkering operations at these ports, and are acquainted with barge operators, surveyors, customs agencies situated within these locations as well.”
The majority of vessel receiving fuel at Vietnam consist of bulkers (at least 50%) and a ‘good mix’ of container liners and tankers.
“Most of the vessels receiving bunkers at Vietnam only for top up purposes because cargoes there are actually sourced from overseas such as Singapore and Malaysia, hence the more expensive prices, as Vietnam’s refineries are mainly producing for the domestic market,” he explains.
Low offers some brief advice for shipowners looking to bunker at Vietnam.
“Due to availability and tax issues, it is always best to arrange for bunkers five to seven days in advance,” he recommends.
“South Vietnam has 380, 180 cSt grades and MGO (marine gas oil) available. However, 380 cSt material is usually out of stock due to storage issues.
“Avails at North Vietnam are commonly 180 cSt material and MGO.”
Contact details of Steven Low and Synergy Asia Bunkering are as follows:
Mobile: +65 9831 5557
Synergy Asia Bunkering
420 North Bridge Road
#04-29 Singapore 188757
Photo credit: Synergy Asia Bunkering
Published: 2 October, 2018
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