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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

VLSFO supply runs almost dry in Vancouver; prompt supplies tight in Panama; VLSFO and LSMGO supply normal in Houston area.

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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:

15 September 2022

  • VLSFO supply runs almost dry in Vancouver
  • Prompt supplies tight in Panama
  • VLSFO and LSMGO supply normal in Houston area

 

North America

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are readily available in the Houston area and off the US Gulf Coast.

LSMGO availability is normal in Lake Charles. A supplier can supply on prompt dates.

Prompt VLSFO availability has been slightly patchier in New York, particularly during the second half of last week. But supplies have gradually improved coming into this week, sources say. LSMGO remains readily available in New York.

Supply remains tight across all fuel grades in US West Coast ports. Several suppliers in Long Beach and Los Angeles are fully booked for prompt dates. Recommended lead times are about 10 days with several suppliers. One supplier can offer deliveries with a shorter lead time of six days.

Suppliers' earliest HSFO delivery dates are mostly subject to enquiry across US Gulf Coast and West Coast ports, sources say.

Buyers are struggling to secure VLSFO stems in Vancouver, both for prompt dates and for dates further out. Suppliers are running low on stock, sources say.

Tight VLSFO availability has mostly been attributed to a lack of product volumes available, while some argue that the tugboat strike in Vancouver could have impacted barge mobility.

One bunker supplier in Vancouver is set to receive a VLSFO resupply cargo this weekend, which should ease some supply constraints. Another supplier is fully booked for the entire month of September, sources say. LSMGO is available but limited to only one supplier offering it, sources say.

The lack of VLSFO supply in Vancouver has forced buyers to consider bunkering in Port Angeles on the US West Coast, where prompt availability has tightened across all grades, partly due to a recent spike in enquiries. A supplier in Port Angeles is unable to commit to new deliveries on prompt dates. It requires around 8-9 days of lead times.

 

Caribbean and Latin America

Availability is normal across all grades in Mexico’s Manzanillo. Recommended lead times for HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO are about five days out. Prompt deliveries can be accommodated based on enquiries, sources say.

All grades remain in tight availability in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Availability is said to be tighter in Cristobal than in Balboa. Certain suppliers in Cristobal are hesitant to supply for prompt dates due to tight barge schedules. One supplier is able to offer some VLSFO for prompt dates in Cristobal.

Securing VLSFO for prompt dates can be difficult off Trinidad. A supplier is unable to offer deliveries for prompt dates as it is set to receive resupply cargoes in the coming days. Recommended lead times for VLSFO are about 9-10 days.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is tight for prompt dates in Zona Comun. The earliest delivery dates with some suppliers are 6-8 days out. Another supplier is unable to offer standalone LSMGO stems, preferring them combined with VLSFO.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal in Colombia’s Cartagena and Santa Marta. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates in both ports.

MGO and VLSFO supply is normal in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and Santos. A supplier is able to offer deliveries for both prompt dates and dates further out, sources say.

Danish bunker supplier Monjasa has announced it has chartered a 1,500 cbm- capacity bunker barge, the TWB-250, to deliver MGO stems in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

It previously delivered MGO by truck to vessels at berth in Rio de Janeiro and TWB-250 would allow it to deliver stems to anchored vessels.

By Nithin Chandran

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 16 September 2022

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Environment

Malaysia to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions.

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Malaysia: Government to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

A Malaysian minister said the government will look into the demands of fishermen in Johor affected by the recent oil spill that spread from Singapore waters, according to several media reports. 

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions. 

His comments came following the recent oil spill after an allision between a dredger and a stationary bunker tanker in Singapore, which affected several beaches in the southern part of Johor. 

On 21 June, it was reported that the Johor Department of Environment stated it expected minimal pollution impact to the Johor’s coast and waters from the oil spill and that it was not as serious as initially predicted.

In a Facebook post, state health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said clean-ups began on 21 June at Sungai Rengit and Teluk Rumunia. 

Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into the bunker vessel causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Last week, MPA said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill.

MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

Related: MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage
Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Ling Tian Soon 
Published: 21 June, 202

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Alternative Fuels

WEF: South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission bunker fuels

Report highlighted a clear demand signal for bunkering ZEF in selected South African ports will be needed to realise the country’s opportunity to become a global hotspot for zero-emission shipping.

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WEF: South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission bunker fuels

South Africa has great potential as a production and bunkering hub for zero-emission shipping fuels – but it needs global demand to get the ball rolling, according to a report by the World Economic Forum recently.

The white paper, titled Decarbonising South Africa’s Shipping and Trucking Sectors, presented the findings and recommendations from a First Movers Coalition workshop held in South Africa in March 2024, which focused on decarbonising the country’s shipping and trucking sectors and developing its potential to produce green hydrogen.

The report said more than 200 dual-fuel methanol vessels have been ordered globally, requiring over 20 Mt of e-methanol fuel per annum to achieve 100% zero-emission operability.

However, fuel availability at that scale is expected to be challenged until at least 2030-35. This demand creates an opportunity for South African producers to secure early customers and sign advance offtake agreements, providing certainty for new projects and improving investment prospects.

The study noted that ammonia also brings advantages as a zero-emission fuel (ZEF), such as high carbon-emission savings, unlimited feedstock (nitrogen) availability and existing logistical infrastructure around the globe. 

While ammonia engines will reach the market from 2025 at the earliest, major carriers like Trafigura and BHP are already placing orders for dual-fuel ammonia vessels.

The World Bank has conducted a pre-feasibility study on establishing green shipping fuel value chains at the ports of Boegoebaai and Saldanha Bay. The study identifies ammonia as the preferred ZEF production choice for South Africa, due to the scarcity of biogenic carbon dioxide to produce methanol. 

“Most of the fuel’s cost comes from hydrogen feedstock – but by leveraging abundant wind and solar supply, the two ports will be able to generate renewable electricity at scale to produce competitive green hydrogen for local industry use (e.g. green steel) and to produce green ammonia for export to the global shipping industry,” the report said.

On bunkering, the report stated political disturbance and security risks in the Red Sea during 2023 to 24 forced many shipping operators to abandon the Suez Canal and re-route their cargo around the Cape of Good Hope. 

Even without those risks, operators shipping lower value or less time-critical cargo may use the Cape route rather than the more expensive Suez Canal, adding two weeks to a ship’s voyage time from Asia to Europe.

“This extra travel time – plus the lower density of zero-emission fuels – could compel vessels running on ZEF to bunker in South Africa before reaching Europe,” it said. 

“Access to zero-emission fuels therefore opens up the possibility of South African ports positioning themselves as bunkering hubs to supply passing shipping traffic.”

“Furthermore, the potential for South Africa to produce e-methanol and e-ammonia has triggered plans to develop ‘green corridors’ – effectively routes connecting ports for vessels to sail on ZEF.

However, the report highlighted a clear demand signal for bunkering ZEF in selected South African ports will be needed to realise the country’s opportunity to become a global hotspot for zero-emission shipping.

“As local demand may take some years to build up, certainty from global demand will play a key role. It is also important to assess different uses for hydrogen beyond maritime fuel, to determine how multi-sectoral offtake can improve the business case for potential project developers,” it said.

Note: The full white paper, titled ‘Decarbonising South Africa’s Shipping and Trucking Sectors’, can be viewed here.

 

Photo credit: World Economic Forum
Published: 21 June, 2024

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Biofuel

DB Schenker to ship Avolta cargo between Europe and US with bio bunker fuel

All containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona – Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel.

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DB Schenker

Travel retailer Avolta recently said it entered an agreement in Spain with logistics service provider DB Schenker for the transport of goods using marine biofuel between Europe and the United States.

From now on, all containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona - Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through the application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel, to achieve additional compensation of the biofuel’s upstream emissions.

“This biofuel switch could prevent over 150 tons of CO2e Well-to-Wake emissions per year, based on Avolta’s 2023 container volume on this route, reducing up to 84% of the CO2 emissions,” the firm said.

The fuel used is Used Cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) and is based on renewable and sustainable sources, mainly waste cooking oil. 

The application will be guided by the Book & Claim System, a set of principles that have been developed through a global, multi-stakeholder process with third-party validation to ensure that the use of this chain of custody model has full traceability and credibility, as well as a demonstrable climate impact.

Camillo Rossotto, Chief Public Affairs & ESG Officer Avolta, said: “We are taking a significant step forward towards decarbonising our shipments and route transportations.”

“This agreement represents the starting point of the transitioning to biofuel for ocean freight which will contribute to decarbonising our logistic emission. Our company's commitment to sustainability is firm and long-term and, as proof of this, we are planning to increase the volume of containers transported using biofuel, advancing in the sustainable and low-emission transportation industry."

Miguel Ángel de la Torre, director of maritime transport at DB Schenker in Iberia, said: "Our mission is to help, facilitate, and guide our customers in the sustainable transformation, and on this occasion, we are doing so by offering this biofuel so that they can convert their freight transport into low-emission transport.”

“In this way, our customer Avolta is not only pioneering and helping to reduce emissions but is also ahead of the new regulations and associated benefits that will be tightened in the coming years.”

 

Photo credit: DB Schenker
Published: 21 June, 2024

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