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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Prompt supply mostly tight across US ports; availability remains tight in Panama; Houston Ship Channel congestion build-up.

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ENGINE East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

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:

8 December 2022

  • Prompt supply mostly tight across US ports
  • Availability remains tight in Panama
  • Houston Ship Channel congestion build-up

 

North America

All grades are tight for prompt dates in the Houston area and off the US Gulf Coast. Lead times of 5-7 days are generally recommended in Houston to ensure full coverage from suppliers.

Thick fog and reduced visibility has caused intermittent closures of the Houston Ship Channel, and led to significant vessel backlogs and congestion, sources say. Some suppliers are not quoting for prompt stems in order to clear bunker backlogs.

Bunker demand in Houston is said to have slowed this week after growing steadily in the recent weeks. Some sources say that while Brent and bunker prices have slumped to multi-month lows, some buyers have been holding back on enquiries in anticipation of further price declines. The slowing demand in Houston could continue into next week, a source say.  

Houston’s HSFO and VLSFO benchmarks are down to one-year lows. Its LSMGO benchmark has declined to a 10-month low.

Similarly, availability of all grades is tight in New York. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO are about 6-8 days, and prompter supply can be hard to find. One supplier can deliver VLSFO and LSMGO stems from 15 December onwards, a source says.

All grades remain tight for prompt dates in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. A longer lead time of at least 10-15 days is generally recommended to ensure full coverage from all suppliers. One supplier can supply VLSFO and LSMGO in Long Beach with a slightly shorter lead time of nine days, a source says.

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are tight for prompt dates in San Francisco. One supplier requires at least 6-8 days of lead time.

Bunker fuel availability is tight for prompt dates in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA). Two suppliers can deliver VLSFO and LSMGO stems in GOLA between 15-18 December, while a host of others have limited to no product available.

Bunker availability remains steady for all fuel grades in Mexico’s Manzanillo as it has been in the past several weeks. Recommended lead times for HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO are about five days out, but prompter stems can be accommodated.

 

Caribbean and Latin America

All grades are tight for prompt dates in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO are about 6-8 days out. Some suppliers can accommodate prompt LSMGO stems of smaller quantities, a source says.

Securing HSFO can be trickier in both Balboa and Cristobal and longer lead times are generally recommended.

LSMGO availability is tight off Trinidad, where a supplier is running low on stock. VLSFO is more readily available with the supplier and requires five days of lead time.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in Colombian ports. One supplier in Colombia’s Cartagena and Santa Marta can supply VLSFO and LSMGO for prompt dates, a trader says.

VLSFO availability is tight in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, where one supplier requires at least two weeks of lead time, sources say.

All grades are tight for prompt dates at the Zona Comun anchorage in Argentina. LSMGO is particularly tighter as several suppliers are running low on stock. One supplier can deliver LSMGO stems from 18 December onwards. Lead times of 7-8 days are recommended for VLSFO.

By Nithin Chandran

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 9 December, 2022

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

Ammonia is touted as the long-term fuel solution, but safety concerns and novel technology could hinder its widespread application.

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SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

The article ‘All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges: panellists’ was first published on Issue 4 of the Singapore Maritime Week 2024 Show Dallies; it has been reproduced in its entirety on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times with permission from The Nutgraf and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore:

By Matthew Gan

Ammonia is emerging as the key net-zero fuel of the future, but the maritime industry faces several challenges in its large-scale adoption.

A critical concern is safety. Ammonia poses safety  risks because of the high volume of explosive engine combustions, and the gas’ toxicity.

“Safety is the most crucial thing – both environmental and operator safety,” said Mr Hiroki Kobayashi, Chief Executive Officer at heavy industries firm IHI Asia Pacific, at the Net-Zero Fuel Pathways Panel during the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference on Wednesday.

Given the focus on safety, a substantial proportion of resources should be spent on ensuring ammonia technology is safe, added Mr Nicolas Brabeck, Managing Director at energy provider MAN Energy Solutions Singapore.

What will help, noted Mr Kenneth Widell, Senior Project Manager (Smart Technology Hub) at marine and energy solutions provider Wartsila, is having stakeholders share information on safe ammonia usage.

Another challenge is training seafarers to use novel technology. But panellists agreed that it should not deter the industry from pursuing the widespread adoption of ammonia.

“All this is new to us, but we can start training early, collect feedback, and adjust accordingly,” said Mr Leonardo Sonzio, Vice-President and Head of Fleet Management and Technology at global shipping company Maersk.

Stakeholders should also collaborate more, said Mr Robert van Nielen, Vice-President (Growth) at liquid storage logistics provider Advario. “There are many things to set up – supply chains, logistics, safety protocols and training – but we need to transition. And if we want to make this change in time, we must work together,” he said.

As moderator Mr Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, Chief Executive Officer (Maritime) at registrar and classification society DNV, put it in his closing remarks: “The fuel of the future, really, is collaboration.”

Singapore Maritime Week 2024 was organised by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore from 15 to 19 April. 

 

Photo credit: Knut Orbeck-Nilssen / DNV
Article credit: The Nutgraf/ Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 24 April 2024

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LNG Bunkering

TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

LNG production from LNG liquefaction plant in port of Sohar, as part of Marsa project, is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended for LNG bunkering in the Gulf.

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TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

Energy company TotalEnergies and Oman National Oil Company on Monday (22 April) announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Marsa LNG plant project.

TotalEnergies had signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Oman LNG to offtake 0.8 Mtpa of LNG for ten years from 2025, making the company one of the main offtaker of Oman LNG's production.

Finally, TotalEnergies (49%) and OQ Alternative Energy (51%), the national renewable energy champion, have confirmed being at an advanced stage of discussions to jointly develop a portfolio of up to 800 MW, including the 300 MWp solar project that will supply Marsa LNG.

Through their joint company Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas (Marsa), TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%) launch the integrated Marsa LNG project which combines:

  • upstream gas production: 150 Mcf/d of natural gas, coming from the 33.19% interest held by Marsa in the Mabrouk North-East field on onshore Block 10, which will provide the required feedstock for the LNG plant. Block 10 production started in January 2023 and reached plateau in April 2024. The FID allows Marsa LNG to extend its rights in Block 10 until its term in 2050.
  • downstream gas liquefaction: a 1 Mt/y capacity LNG liquefaction plant will be built in the port of Sohar. The LNG production is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended to serve the marine fuel market (LNG bunkering) in the Gulf. LNG quantities not sold as bunker fuel will be off-taken by TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%).
  • renewable power generation: a dedicated 300 MWp PV solar plant will be built to cover 100% of the annual power consumption of the LNG plant, allowing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Marsa LNG plant will be 100% electrically driven and supplied with solar power, positioning the site as one of the lowest GHG emissions intensity LNG plants ever built worldwide, with a GHG intensity below 3 kg CO2e/boe. (for reference, the average emission intensity of LNG plants is around 35 kg CO2e/boe - this represents a reduction in emissions of more than 90%).

The main Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts have been awarded to Technip Energies for the LNG plant and to CB&I for the 165,000 m3 LNG tank.

The Marsa LNG project will generate long-term employment opportunities and significant socio-economic benefits for the city of Sohar and the region.

The first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

The ambition of the Marsa LNG project is to serve as the first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East, showcasing an available and competitive alternative marine fuel to reduce the shipping industry's emissions. 

“We are proud to open a new chapter in our history in the Sultanate of Oman with the launch of the Marsa LNG project, together with our partner OQ, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the country. We are especially pleased to deploy the two pillars of our transition strategy, LNG and renewables, and thus support the Sultanate on a new scale in the sustainable development of its energy resources”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

“This very innovative project illustrates our pioneer spirit and showcases the relevance of our integrated multi-energy strategy, with the ambition of being a responsible player in the energy transition. By paving the way for the next generation of very low emission LNG plants, Marsa LNG is contributing to making gas a long-term transition energy.”

 

Photo credit: TotalEnergies
Published: 24 April 2024

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Biofuel

Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% bio fuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements, says ABS.

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Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Carras (Hellas) S.A. received the ABS Biofuel-1 notation for its Aquataurus ultramax bulk carrier, the first vessel in the world to qualify, according to the classification society on Tuesday (23 April).

The notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% biofuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements.

ABS said biofuels’ suitability with existing power generation systems makes them a drop-in solution without the need for equipment retrofits or vessel redesign. 

The Aquataurus is equipped with a Wartsilla main engine and three auxiliary Yanmar engines and will serve trade routes worldwide.

“We are very proud to support Carras (Hellas) S.A. in their initiative to use biofuels as part of their sustainability strategy. Drop-in biofuels are a ‘here-now’ solution since they take advantage of existing fuel transport and bunkering infrastructure. ABS is well-positioned to use our deep industry knowledge of alternative fuels to support clients along their decarbonization journey,” said Stamatis Fradelos, ABS Vice President, Regulatory Affairs.

“Carras (Hellas) S.A. is pleased to be working with ABS to support our common goal of  reducing fleet emissions for the benefit of the environment. The use of biofuels allows shipowners to reduce their fleet carbon intensity without the cost of expensive retrofits or investments in newbuildings, and we are excited to be pioneers, together with ABS, of obtaining the assignment of the Biofuel-1 notation to Aquataurus,” said Captain Costas Liadis, President of Carras (Hellas) S.A.

 

Photo credit: ABS
Published: 24 April 2024

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