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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (21 Dec 2023)

Supply tight in most Americas ports; uptick in demand in USGC and East Coast; fog season hits US Gulf Coast bunkering; very low demand in Zona Comun.

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The following article regarding bunker fuel availability in the Americas region has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • Supply tight in most Americas ports
  • Uptick in demand in USGC and East Coast
  • Fog season hits US Gulf Coast bunkering
  • Very low demand in Zona Comun

North America

Bunker demand has been extremely high in Houston and several other ports along the US Gulf Coast in the past week. This demand has primarily been driven by the upcoming Christmas and year-end holidays, which always tend to increase demand for shipping goods.

Availability of both VLSFO and LSMGO has gotten tighter in Houston, and some suppliers can only deliver them with a lead time of more than seven days. Prompt HSFO supply is also tight and lead times of 8-9 days are recommended for the grade.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is also tight in Bolivar Roads and Beaumont. Bunker deliveries there are subject to weather conditions and availability of anchorage space, a source says.

A moderate to high risk of fog and reduced visibility is forecast around Corpus Christi, Lake Charles, Port Arthur, Galveston and Freeport from tomorrow, which could delay vessel traffic around the region and through the Houston Ship Channel until next week, a source says. As a result, some suppliers are refraining from offering stems for prompt dates in the area.

Bunker operations were running smoothly in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) on Thursday. However, strong wind gusts of up to 34 knots are forecast over the weekend, which could keep bunkering suspended until Sunday.

At the New Orleans Outer Anchorage (NOLA), there has been strong demand for VLSFO and LSMGO on non-prompt delivery dates, and most suppliers are able to offer stems for these dates.

All grades are tight for prompt delivery dates in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Most suppliers need at least seven days of lead time to deliver VLSFO and LSMGO stems in the ports. Securing HSFO can be even harder as only a few suppliers have supplies available.

Availability of all grades is also getting tighter in the East Coast port of New York amid a rise in demand. Bunker operations were suspended in New York on Monday due to strong wind gusts.

Caribbean and Latin America

Demand for all fuel grades has been low in Panama’s ports of Balboa and Cristobal amid the ongoing drought-triggered restrictions. Availability has been very good for VLSFO and LSMGO, and most suppliers are able to offer stems within 3-4 days in Balboa. HSFO can be secured with a lead time of about seven days.

VLSFO and LSMGO delivery is possible for prompt dates off Trinidad, but these offers are generally quoted on a subject to enquiry basis, a source says.

VLSFO and LSMGO supply is good for prompt dates in the Brazilian ports of Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Itaqui and Rio Grande. Most suppliers can deliver stems within 4-6 days of lead time.

Bunker operations resumed in Zona Comun on Thursday morning after being suspended since Tuesday due to bad weather conditions. Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal for prompt dates at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage. Most suppliers can deliver stems within five days of lead time.

Zona Comun has been experiencing decreased traffic for the past two weeks, resulting in lower demand. A severe drought has decreased exports from the region by 40% in 2023, compared to 2022. Argentina is currently facing a severe drought that has resulted in reduced crop production, a port agent told ENGINE.

“We are now starting the wheat and cruise ship season, so it is expected to be back to normal as of April 2024,” the port agent said.

By Debarati Bhattacharjee

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 22 December, 2023

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Ammonia

Singapore: EMA, MPA shortlist two consortia for ammonia power generation and bunkering

Chosen consortia are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, NYK Line and Sumitomo Corporation.

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The Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (25 July) said they have shortlisted two consortia that will proceed to the next round of evaluations of proposals to provide a low- or zero-carbon ammonia solution on Jurong Island for power generation and bunkering. 

The two consortia were selected from a total of six that were earlier shortlisted in 2023 to participate in a restricted Request for Proposal (RFP), following an Expression of Interest (EOI) called in 2022. The bids were assessed based on the technical, safety and commercial aspects of their proposals. 

The two consortium leads are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Sumitomo Corporation. The two consortia will proceed to conduct engineering, safety and emergency response studies for the proposed Project.

At the next phase, we will select one of the two bidders as the lead developer of the project. The lead developer will develop the end-to-end ammonia solution comprising (i) generating 55 to 65 MW of electricity from imported low- or zero-carbon ammonia via direct combustion in a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine; and (ii) facilitating ammonia bunkering at a capacity of at least 0.1 million tons per annum (MTPA), starting with shore-to-ship bunkering followed by ship-to-ship bunkering. 

Given the nascency of the technology and global supply chains, the Government will work closely with the appointed lead developer to implement the Project. We aim to announce the lead developer by Q1 2025.

The project is part of Singapore’s National Hydrogen Strategy launched in 2022, which outlines Singapore’s approach to develop low-carbon hydrogen as a major decarbonisation pathway as part of the nation’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

A key thrust of this strategy is to experiment with the use of advanced hydrogen technologies that are on the cusp of commercial readiness. Ammonia is currently one of the most technologically-ready hydrogen carriers with an established international supply chain for industrial use.

“If successful, the project will position Singapore as one of the first countries in the world to deploy a direct ammonia combustion power plant and support the development of ammonia bunkering for international shipping, EMA and MPA said.

“This will help to unlock the potential of low-carbon ammonia as a low-carbon fuel.”

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 July 2024

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LNG Bunkering

China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

The 14,000 cubic metre ship, “Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang”, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) for Huaihe Energy Holding Group.

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China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

China’s river-to-sea LNG bunkering vessel, which was built locally, was named and delivered in Shanghai on Monday (19 July), according to the Shanghai Association of Shipbuilding Industry (SASIC). 

The 14,000 cubic metre (cbm) ship, Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd for Huaihe Energy Holding Group as part of China’s "Gasification of the Yangtze River” project.

The ship is capable of travelling through the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge all year round and has been dubbed a “Customised Yangtze River” LNG refuelling and transportation ship.

The ship is equipped with the B-type LNG containment system independently developed by Hudong-Zhonghua and authorised by a national patent.

According to SASIC, this was the first time such a system has been applied to a domestic LNG  refuelling and transportation ship, marking a major breakthrough in the B-type LNG containment system developed by China with independent intellectual property rights.

Related: China’s first river-sea LNG bunkering ship completes inaugural bunkering operation

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.

 

Photo credit: Shanghai Shipbuilding Industry Association
Published: 25 July 2024

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Environment

Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

“Hafnia Nile” and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged “Ceres I” collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.

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Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

Shipowner Hafnia, the operator of Singapore-flagged tanker Hafnia Nile, is in discussion with The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on a safe location to transfer the ship’s cargo, MPA said on Wednesday (24 July). 

They are also discussing towage plans for repairs to be approved by MPA.

Hafnia Nile and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged Ceres I collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.

“An additional tug with deep-sea towing capacity has arrived on site on 23 July 2024, joining four other tugs equipped with oil response and firefighting capabilities,” MPA said. 

In a meeting with MPA on 23 July, Hafnia informed MPA of light oil sheens near Hafnia Nile

“As part of the towage plan, Hafnia will arrange for repairs, containment and clean-up of the assessed localised seepage,” it added.

Reuters reported Hafnia stating that an initial assessment by a team of specialists conducting inspections of damaged areas of the tanker, showed Hafnia Nile's engine room had suffered damage from the fire.

Hafnia also reportedly said a salvage team has boarded the vessel and transferred equipment from one of the attending tugs on site to contain and stop any localised seepage.

Manifold Times previously reported Ceres 1 allegedly leaving the site of the collision as of 20 July and turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) but was believed to be in Malaysian waters.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was able to locate Ceres 1 some 28 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Tioman.

Related: “Ceres 1” goes dark after collision with Singapore-flagged tanker, located by MMEA
Related: MPA: Fire breaks out on two ships near Pedra Branca, search and rescue underway

 

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 25 July 2024

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