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ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

LSMGO tight in NOLA; prompt HSFO supply improves in Panama; bad weather hinders Zona Comun bunkering.




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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:

13 July 2023

  • LSMGO tight in NOLA
  • Prompt HSFO supply improves in Panama
  • Bad weather hinders Zona Comun bunkering


North America

Demand for all fuel grades has improved in Houston this week. VLSFO and LSMGO grades are generally in good supply with suppliers in the Houston area. Most suppliers are able to deliver stems with 2-3 days of lead time, as well as on dates further out. HSFO needs a longer lead time of 6-7 days with most suppliers. However, one supplier can deliver it on very prompt dates.

Several cases of contaminated VLSFO stems supplied in the US Gulf Coast region have been reported in the past month, particularly in Houston and New Orleans. Several vessels using these fuels have reported loss of power.

Prompt delivery of VLSFO and LSMGO is possible in Bolivar Roads with a recommended lead time of 3-4 days. However, deliveries there are subject to weather conditions and anchorage space, a source says.

Similarly, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is good in Beaumont and Port Arthur, but demand has been low in these ports this week.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal for prompt dates in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA), a source says. The offshore area is forecast to experience favourable weather conditions this week, which would allow smooth bunker deliveries there.

Most suppliers can offer VLSFO for prompt dates at the New Orleans Outer Anchorage (NOLA) within five days. However, LSMGO availability can be tight with few suppliers and prices can fluctuate greatly between suppliers at the location, a source says.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is good in the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Recommended delivery time of several suppliers are between 5-7 days, which is better than normal in the West Coast ports. HSFO stems can also be secured, and has a longer lead time of more than seven days.

Bunker operations have not been affected in the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert due to the port workers' strike in Canada’s British Columbia., a source said. Availability of all fuel grades is tight for prompt dates in Vancouver.

Securing HSFO deliveries in New York is difficult for prompt dates. Only three suppliers are able to offer HSFO stems in the port now, according to a source. Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO in the port remains good for prompt dates.


Caribbean and Latin America

Prompt availability of all fuel grades is normal in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. One supplier is able to deliver HSFO stems in the ports with a lead time of three days, up from last week’s 10-day lead time. Several other suppliers can deliver HSFO stems in Balboa only within 4-6 days of lead time.

Meanwhile, some bunker buyers have been keen to book Panama stems for dates between the end of August and September.

HSFO is tight for prompt dates off Trinidad. VLSFO and LSMGO can be secured with a lead time of 5-7 days.

Demand has been low this week in the Brazilian ports of Santos, Rio Grande and Rio de Janeiro. Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains good for prompt dates with most suppliers.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO stems is tight at Argentina’s Zona Comun anchorage. The earliest delivery dates with several suppliers in Zona Comun stretch up to 22-23 July, a source said.

Bunker operations have been suspended in Zona Comun due to rough weather conditions. The area is currently experiencing strong gale-force wind gusts of up to 35 knots. The weather is expected to clear up from Thursday evening and deliveries are expected to restart. However, delays are expected as a large number of vessels is due to arrive.

By Debarati Bhattacharjee


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 14 July, 2023

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GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the “TIHAMA”, a 19,870 TEU container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd in final trial; marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022.





GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Thursday (18 July) said it has successfully completed its final supply chain trial for biofuel blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). 

This marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022 as part of a larger pilot to develop a framework to provide quality, quantity and GHG abatement assurances for drop-in fuels.

In this final trial, bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the TIHAMA, a 19,870 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd.

The biofuel component used is certified to the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) standard – a multistakeholder certification scheme for biobased materials. The biofuel component comprised neat Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) produced from food waste.

Authentix, a tracer solutions provider, supplied and dosed the FAME with an organic-based tracer at the storage terminal outside the Netherlands. The dosed FAME was then transported to the Port of Rotterdam for blending with VLSFO to achieve a B30 blend, before the blend was bunkered onboard the TIHAMA.

Similar to previous trials, GCMD engaged fuel testing company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) to witness the operations at all stages – from biofuel cargo transfer to bunkering. VPS also collected and conducted extensive laboratory tests on samples of the biofuel and biofuel blend collected at pre-determined points along the supply chain to assess quality per Standards EN 14214 and ISO 8217.

With well-to-wake emissions of 13.74 gCO2e/MJ, the neat FAME presented a 85.4% emissions reduction compared to the emissions of the fossil marine fuel. The reduced emissions complies with the MEPC 80, which requires a minimum emissions reduction of 65% in order for biofuels to be classified as sustainable.

GCMD and Hapag-Lloyd determined that consumption of the 4,500 MT B30 blend of FAME and VLSFO resulted in 27.9% emissions reduction compared to sailing on VLSFO.

A newly developed tracer deployed with this supply chain

GCMD collaborated with Authentix to develop and deploy a new organic-based tracer to authenticate the origin and verify the amount of FAME present in the blend. The proprietary tracer blended homogeneously with FAME and was detected at expected concentrations at all sampling points along the supply chain.

This trial marks the first deployment of this tracer in a marine fuel supply chain. Previously, similar tracers were used to authenticate and quantify biofuels in road transport and LPG supply chains.

Development of a comprehensive biofuels assurance framework underway

With the completion of this trial, GCMD has deployed a diverse range of tracer technologies, including synthetic DNA and element-based tracers, in addition to the organic-based tracer used in this trial. The trials have also included the development of a chemical fingerprinting methodology and the evaluation of lock-and-seal and automatic identification systems (AIS) as additional solutions to ensure the integrity of the biofuels supply chain.

Learnings on tracer limitations and benefits will be incorporated into a framework that recommends appropriate use to ensure consistent and robust performance. This effort will complement existing ISCC by providing additional supply chain assurance through physical traceability.

The insights from these trials will be shared in a series of reports covering issues, such as traceability, biofuel degradation, supply chain optimisation and abatement costs. These findings will culminate in a comprehensive assurance framework to provide guidance on biofuels use, slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2024.


Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 19 July 2024

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MPA, ITOCHU and partners sign MoU on ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers study

As a government agency, MPA,will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations, says ClassNK.





RESIZED venti views

Classification society ClassNK on Thursday (18 July) said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd., and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) regarding a joint study for the design and safety specifications of ammonia-fuelled ships which are under development by ITOCHU and partners.

“The discussion for a specification of ammonia-fuelled ships with a governmental body related to their operation is essential for a social implementation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK said. 

“As one of parties of the MoU, MPA, a government agency overseeing the world’s busiest bunkering hub, will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations.”

The MoU is based on the premise that 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers will be built by Nihon Shipyard with an ammonia dual-fuelled engine.

“The necessary clarifications of the specification for the ammonia-fueled ship to carry out ammonia bunkering in Singapore will be conducted among parties of this MoU, for the commercialisation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK added.


Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 19 July 2024

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“K” Line to use biofuel on three Gram Car Carriers-chartered vessels in Singapore

Biofuel will be supplied to the sister vessels “Viking Ocean”, “Viking Diamond” and “Viking Coral” while bunkering in Singapore, says Gram Car Carriers.





“K” Line to use biofuel on three Gram Car Carriers-chartered vessels in Singapore

Norwegian transportation firm Gram Car Carriers (GCC) on Thursday (18 July) said Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” LINE) will use biofuel on three vessels chartered from GCC from July onwards. 

“The biofuel will be supplied to the sister vessels Viking Ocean, Viking Diamond and Viking Coral while bunkering in Singapore, an Asian hub for marine biofuels,” GCC said on its social media. 

“The use of biofuel is a key environmental initiative to reduce emissions across the entire value chain (well-to-exhaust) and an effective way of transitioning to low-carbon marine fuels amid globally tightening environmental regulations.”

“We support the green mobility shift. This means that GCC commit to supporting the transition of both vehicles and their logistic chain towards a zero-emission future in close cooperation with leading customers such as K-Line,” said Georg A. Whist, CEO of GCC.


Photo credit: Gram Car Carriers
Published: 19 July 2024

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