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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

VLSFO and LSMGO tight in Singapore; demand still weak in Zhoushan; LSMGO availability good across Oman.

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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:

6 December 2022

  • VLSFO and LSMGO tight in Singapore
  • Demand still weak in Zhoushan
  • LSMGO availability good across Oman

 

Singapore

Steady demand in Singapore has contributed to tighten the port’s bunker market. Recommended lead times in Singapore for VLSFO now stretch to 11-13 days as most suppliers are fully booked for prompt dates. But some suppliers can still offer prompt dates at a price premium, a source says.

Availability of LSMGO has become tighter in the port, with lead times now stretching to 10-12 days. Lead times for HSFO vary between suppliers and are in a wide range of 6-10 days.

Singapore's inventories of both middle distillates and residual fuel oil have been draw, according to Enterprise Singapore. Singapore’s middle distillate stocks averaged 3% lower in November than in October. Residual fuel oil stocks averaged 5% lower despite an increase in imports.

 

East Asia

Zhoushan has been grappling with weather-related disruptions since last week. Bad weather is likely to impact bunker operations persistently throughout the winter, a source says.

Recommended lead times for VLSFO in Zhoushan are 3-5 days. Notably, the Chinese bunkering hub has been plagued with very weak demand for a while now.

Availability of HSFO is getting tighter in Zhoushan, as most suppliers are running low on stocks. Recommended lead times for HSFO in the port vary as availability is currently subject to enquiry.

Meanwhile, LSMGO has the shortest lead times in Zhoushan at 2-3 days.

Meanwhile, VLSFO supply remains steady in Hong Kong, with lead times of around five days. But prompt dates for the grade are a little difficult to lock in as barge availability remains tight, a source says.

Weather disruptions might hamper bunker operations in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu across the week, sources say. VLSFO and LSMGO grades are available on prompt dates across South Korean ports, with short lead times of three days advised. Recommended lead times for HSFO are longer and vary between 5-9 days in South Korean ports.

LSMGO availability is normal in the Philippines' Manila, with lead times of three days.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in Indonesian ports. One supplier can supply prompt stems.

 

South Asia

Availability of VLSFO remains steady in India’s Mumbai, with lead times of around five days.

VLSFO availability remains good across Mundra and Kandla on the northwest coast, with lead times of three days.

Cochin and Chennai on India's southern coast both have VLSFO readily available. Prompt dates for both VLSFO and LSMGO remain available in Visakhapatnam on India’s southwestern coast.

Meanwhile, lead times for VLSFO in Paradip on India’s east coast are subject to enquiry. Haldia has good availability of VLSFO.

Availability across VLSFO and LSMGO remains normal in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo with short lead times of three days. Only one supplier can offer HSFO in the port, and with lead times of only three days, a source says.

VLSFO availability remains good in Trincomalee.

 

Middle East

Recommended lead times for VLSFO in Fujairah have increased to 10 days, from seven previously, as availability has been getting tighter due to delays at loading terminals.

Fujairah’s LSMGO requires lead times of around nine days, while shorter lead times of six days are advised for HSFO in the UAE port.

Availability of prompt dates for VLSFO remains good in Oman’s Sohar, where it is delivered via barge. Lead times of around three days are recommended.

Suppliers can offer LSMGO in the Omani ports of Muscat, Duqm, Salalah and Sohar via truck, with prompt deliveries in 1-2 days possible.

By Tuhin Roy

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published:7 December, 2022

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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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