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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (23 April 2024)

Bunker supply is good in South Korean ports; steady VLSFO and LSMGO supply across several Australian ports; bunker demand dips in Fujairah.

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RESIZED ENGINE East of Suez

The following article regarding regional bunker fuel availability outlook for the East of Suez region has been provided by online marine fuels procurement platform ENGINE for publication on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • Bunker supply is good in South Korean ports
  • Steady VLSFO and LSMGO supply across several Australian ports
  • Bunker demand dips in Fujairah

Singapore and Malaysia

Lead times for VLSFO in Singapore have shown significant fluctuations in recent weeks. Currently, most suppliers are suggesting up to 10 days for the grade, while some can accommodate stems within six days.

Prompt HSFO availability in Singapore has improved, with recommended lead times now ranging between 6-10 days, down from 8-14 days last week. For LSMGO, lead times vary widely between 2-8 days in Singapore.

According to Enterprise Singapore's latest data, Singapore's residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% higher so far this month compared to March. Despite a 13% decline in the port's net fuel imports this month, the port's fuel oil stocks have remained steady at 21 million bbls. Fuel oil imports in the port have decreased by 334,000 bbls this month, while fuel oil exports have increased by 190,000 bbls. Singapore's middle distillate stocks have also risen by 3% this month to multi-month highs of 10.67 million bbls.

Prompt bio-bunker availability is tight in Singapore, according to two sources.

At Malaysia's Port Klang, VLSFO and LSMGO remain in abundant supply, with some suppliers able to arrange prompt deliveries for smaller quantities. However, the availability of HSFO is tight due to the limited supply available with suppliers.

China, East Asia and Oceania

Tight barge availability has constrained the supply of all grades in Zhoushan, with suppliers suggesting lead times of around 4-8 days for VLSFO and LSMGO, and 6-7 days for HSFO.

In the Taiwanese ports of Hualien, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Keelung, VLSFO and LSMGO remain readily available amid normal bunker demand. Lead times of about two days are recommended for the grades – almost unchanged from last week.

All grades of bunker fuel are readily available in Hong Kong, with lead times of seven days recommended. Adverse weather conditions are forecast to impact Hong Kong on Friday, which could potentially impact deliveries.

In South Korean ports, all bunker grades remain readily available. Most suppliers are advising lead times of 4-5 days for all grades, which is similar to last week. Rough weather conditions are forecast intermittently throughout this week, which could affect bunker deliveries in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Busan and Yeosu.

In the ports of Kwinana and Fremantle in Western Australia, VLSFO and LSMGO supply is good. Lead times of 7-8 days are recommended in both ports. Heading to Sydney in New South Wales, LSMGO is readily available, while HSFO availability is restricted.

In Victoria, Melbourne has abundant VLSFO and LSMGO stocks, and Geelong also has ample availability of VLSFO. Nevertheless, prompt HSFO supply faces challenges in both Melbourne and Geelong. Moving to Queensland, both the ports of Brisbane and Gladstone boast sufficient stocks of VLSFO and LSMGO, with suggested lead times of 7-8 days. HSFO availability remains limited in Brisbane.

Unfavourable weather conditions are forecasted in the Thai port of Koh Sichang until Wednesday and the Vietnamese port of Hai Phong until Saturday, as well as in the Kiwi port of Tauranga until Friday. Bad weather could make bunker deliveries difficult in these ports.

South Asia

VLSFO and LSMGO availability continues to be limited in Indian ports, with the majority of suppliers facing supply shortages.

Ports including Mumbai, Kandla, Tuticorin, Chennai, Cochin, Visakhapatnam, Haldia, and Paradip are experiencing shortages of VLSFO and LSMGO, resulting in uncertain delivery schedules depending on availability.

On the flipside, the Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee has ample VLSFO, LSMGO and HSFO supply available.

Middle East

Bunker demand in Fujairah has reduced after a slight increase last week, but prompt availability of all grades remains limited due to backlogs caused by recent adverse weather conditions. Suppliers are recommending unchanged lead times of 7-10 days across all grades. Similar lead times are advised in the UAE port of Khor Fakkan.

In Saudi Arabia's Jeddah port, VLSFO and LSMGO supply remains good. However, in Djibouti, some suppliers are facing VLSFO shortages, while LSMGO supply is normal there.

LSMGO is readily available in Omani ports such as Sohar, Salalah, Muscat, and Duqm.

By Tuhin Roy

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 24 April 2024

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Fuel Testing

Singapore: CTI-Maritec shares testing protocols ahead of mandatory enhanced bunker fuel checks

In light of mandatory enhanced checks for marine fuel delivered at Singapore port coming into effect on 1 June, CTI-Maritec shares recommendations for fuel testing protocols, primarily focused at COCs and SAN detection for bunker supply in Singapore.

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Louis Reed from Unsplash

With mandatory enhanced checks for marine fuel delivered at Singapore port coming into effect on 1 June, bunker fuel testing and marine surveying business Maritec Pte Ltd (CTI-Maritec) has published a newsletter providing recommendations on vital pre-emptive fuel testing measures vessels should be taking as part of their routine fuel testing and also recommendations on optimal testing options available when deep-dive analysis is required to determine a root cause: 

Introduction

On 8 February 2024 the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued a Port Marine Circular No 3 of 2024 regarding the implementation of enhanced testing parameters for marine fuel batches intended to be delivered as bunkers in the Port of Singapore in addition to the existing quality assurance measures.

In accordance with the MPA’s Port Marine Circular No 3 of 2024, from 1 June 2024 onwards, bunker suppliers in the Port of Singapore must ensure that:

  • Residual & Bio-residual bunker fuel do not contain Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC) above 50mg/kg and are free from inorganic acids.
  • COC must be tested using the EN 14077 accredited test method and shall be reported in the “Certificate of Quality” (COQ) provided to receiving vessels.
  • Inorganic acids must use the ASTM D664 accredited test method as prescribed in ISO 8217 and the Strong Acid Number (SAN) (in addition to the Total Acid Number (TAN) shall be reported in the COQ (i.e. SAN = 0) provided to receiving vessels. For distillate / bio-distillate bunker marine fuel batches, SAN must be tested as per ASTM D664 test method and reported in the COQ.
  • Residual marine fuels are free from polystyrene, polypropylene & polymethacrylate. These can be tested by filtration, microscopic examination, & Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy analysis.

Testing Recommendations in line with MPA Enhanced Parameters to Protect Your Vessels:

In view of the above, CTI-Maritec recommends fuel testing protocols as depicted in the chart below (as routine pre-emptive measures and/or for deep dive requirements to detect the root cause) to help safeguard vessel health.

Our recommendations are primarily focused at COCs and SAN detection for bunker supply in Singapore, while recommendations for testing Polymers are advised for requirements of reported problem cases or when highly abnormal GCMS findings of chemical compounds like Styrene, DCPD and Indene are detected.

COC & SAN GCMS testing Packages A to E

Related: Singapore: CTI-Maritec publishes whitepaper on upcoming mandatory enhanced bunker fuel tests
Related: Singapore: Marine fuel quality testing agencies applaud move for mandatory enhanced bunker fuel tests
Related: Singapore: MPA tightens testing parameters to reduce contaminated bunker fuels
Related: MPA: Glencore and PetroChina supplied contaminated bunkers to about 200 ships in the Port of Singapore

 

Photo credit: Louis Reed from Unsplash
Published: 29 May 2024

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Methanol

VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.

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Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor

 

Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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