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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Availability remains tight in Hong Kong; Singapore suppliers struggle to offer prompt deliveries; gasoil more available than fuel oils in Zhoushan.




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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:

31 May 2022

  • Availability remains tight in Hong Kong
  • Singapore suppliers struggle to offer prompt deliveries
  • Gasoil more available than fuel oils in Zhoushan


Bunker fuel availability remains tight across all grades in Singapore. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and HSFO are up to two weeks, and LSMGO around 7-10 days.

Some suppliers can offer HSFO for earlier dates, but prompt VLSFO deliveries are difficult to find, sources say.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 5% lower in May than in April, and middle distillate stocks 8% lower, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Cargo tracker Vortexa projects that Singapore’s total fuel oil imports could reach 792,000 b/d for the whole of May, which is higher than April’s 647,000 b/d. Inflows from Brazil and Russia are estimated to have surged and made them Singapore's top two and three import sources. The UAE has retained its place as the top source.

According to the data, high sulphur fuel oil imports will make up nearly 65% of total fuel oil imports in May, while low sulphur fuel oil inflows are down.

East Asia

Bunker demand remains robust in Hong Kong and supply is not keeping up with demand, making lead times more unpredictable, sources say.

Supply dates for all fuel grades remain subject to enquiry in Hong Kong as suppliers struggle to cater to both prompt deliveries and delivery dates further out. Availability is expected to improve in the second half of June as more replenishment cargoes arrive, a source says.

Availability remains tight across all grades in South Korea's Yeosu, Busan and Ulsan, with recommended lead times of around 7-10 days.

Supply is tight in China’s Zhoushan and Shanghai. Most suppliers are unable to offer HSFO and VLSFO for delivery dates in early June due to a lack of product, sources say.

Some suppliers in Zhoushan can offer VLSFO from 10 June onwards. LSMGO availability is slightly better with some suppliers offering prompt deliveries, sources say.

A supplier in Shanghai is out of VLSFO, adding more pressure on others’ supply, sources say.

In the Philippines’ Manila, LSMGO availability is normal and recommended lead times are around three days, a source says. Bunker demand has been sluggish.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in Port Klang. A supplier can offer limited quantities of VLSFO and LSMGO for prompt dates, sources say.

South Asia

Bunker fuel availability in the Indian ports of Mumbai and Kochi is normal. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO, a source says.

In the Pakistani ports of Karachi and Qasim, availability is normal for VLSFO and LSMGO. Only one local refinery is currently producing VLSFO while other refineries could start producing the grade in the coming months, a trader says.

In Sri Lanka’s Colombo, availability is slightly tight across all grades. A supplier has low stocks of VLSFO and LSMGO. Another supplier can offer both grades, but prompt deliveries are made difficult by a busy barge schedule, sources say.

HSFO availability is normal as a supplier has recently received a replenishment cargo, a source says. Port congestion has eased in Colombo to allow for smooth operations.

Middle East

In Fujairah, availability of HSFO is tight for prompt deliveries and recommended lead times are around 10 days. VLSFO and LSMGO grades have shorter lead times of seven days.

Prompt deliveries remain difficult to find in Fujairah forcing some buyers to look out for bunker options in other UAE ports such as Dubai, a source says.          

In Iraqi Basra, availability remains normal for VLSFO and LSMGO, sources say. A supplier can offer some prompt deliveries.

VLSFO availability in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah is normal, while LSMGO is slightly tighter, sources say.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in the Omani ports of Duqm and Sohar. A supplier can offer prompt deliveries for VLSFO and LSMGO.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 1 June, 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.





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.





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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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.





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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