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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Indonesian ports unscathed after earthquake; still tight availability in Hong Kong; Zhoushan grapples with more weather disruptions.




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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:

22 November 2022

  • Indonesian ports unscathed after earthquake
  • Still tight availability in Hong Kong
  • Zhoushan grapples with more weather disruptions



Availability across all fuel grades remains tight in Singapore. Recommended lead times for VLSFO in the port are 9-11 days, while 7-10 days are required for HSFO.

The port’s residual fuel oil inventories have averaged 4% lower so far in November compared to October, despite a big increase in net imports, according to Enterprise Singapore.

HSFO cargoes have primarily arrived from Turkey so far this month, followed by Russia and Malaysia, going by Vortexa cargo tracking data.

Some suppliers have held back offers for HSFO in Singapore, which has contributed to keep its price elevated, a source says. Lead times of 7-10 days are recommended for HSFO in the port.


East Asia

Bunkering operations in Zhoushan’s outer port limits (OPL) might be suspended by bad weather from the evening of 22 November, according to White Whale Shipping Agency. Strong winds ranging between 19-27 knots are forecast to hit the port. OPL bunkering is likely to resume on 23 November’s evening, when calmer weather is forecast.

Availability of VLSFO remains steady in Zhoushan, with recommended lead times of five days. Lead times of seven days are required for HSFO in the port.

LSMGO remains extremely tight in Zhoushan as several suppliers have almost run out of stocks. Replenishment cargoes are due to arrive in the end of November, which is likely to alleviate the situation, a source says. Lead times for the grade are subject to enquiry currently.

Meanwhile, availability across all grades remains steady in South Korean ports, with recommended lead times of five days. Bunkering might be hampered by rough weather in southern South Korean ports including Busan and Yeosu between 23-24 November. Delivery of stems are subject to weather conditions currently, a source says.

Availability of prompt dates across all grades in Hong Kong remains tight, with lead times of 7-8 days. One supplier can accommodate shorter lead times for VLSFO, a source says.

In Indonesia, the effects of a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that hit the Cianjur region on Monday have mostly been felt in the western parts of Java, while suppliers continue to deliver stems in the ports of Jakarta, Surabaya and Balikpapan, a trader says.


South Asia

Several Indian ports, including Mumbai, Mundra and Kandla on the northwest coast, and Cochin and Chennai on the southern coast, have good availability of VLSFO with lead times of 2-3 days.

Meanwhile, VLSFO availability is subject to inquiry in Tuticorin.

Visakhapatnam and Haldia on India’s east coast have recommended lead times of 2-3 days for VLSFO. Suppliers in Paradip have almost run out of VLSFO.

One supplier can provide prompt dates for all the grades in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo.


Middle East

Fujairah's suppliers have been grappling with low demand for VLSFO since the beginning of October. Less VLSFO sales contributed to pull down Fujairah’s total bunker sales by 2% in October, according to data compiled by Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) and S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Sources attributed lower demand to a lack of movement in bulk and container vessels.

VLSFO stems can be delivered in Fujairah in five days, while recommended lead times for LSMGO and HSFO are four days.

Very prompt deliveries (0-3 days) of VLSFO are available in the Omani port of Sohar. Prompt LSMGO is also available in Duqm and Sohar, and typically requires lead times of 2-3 days.

By Tuhin Roy


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 23 November, 2022

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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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