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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Demand weak in Fujairah; weather disruptions might hit several East Asian ports; LSMGO availability good in Omani ports.




ENGINE East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

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:

10 January 2023

  • Demand weak in Fujairah
  • Weather disruptions might hit several East Asian ports
  • LSMGO availability good in Omani ports



Singapore has been witnessing steady demand so far this week. The lead-up to the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year holiday might lend further support to demand, a source says. Recommended lead times for VLSFO remain almost unchanged from last week at 11-13 days.

Lead times of 12-14 days are recommended for HSFO in Singapore - also similar to last week. LSMGO availability is good in Singapore, with lead times of 3-5 days, which is slightly up from 2-4 days previously.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% higher so far in January than in December, despite a 2% decline in imports, according to Enterprise Singapore. Singapore’s fuel oil exports have plunged by 60%, resulting in a bigger net import surplus.

The port’s middle distillate stocks, meanwhile, have averaged 15% higher in the first few days of this month than in December.


East Asia

Zhoushan has been seeing improved demand so far this week, following a period of prolonged weakness, a source says. The port continues to price its VLSFO at competitive levels to attract demand. However, bad weather forecast for next weekend might play spoilsport, as it might hamper bunker operations at anchorage.

Replenishment cargo volumes have arrived in Zhoushan to ease VLSFO tightness, bringing down lead times to 3-5 days from almost seven days previously. Another VLSFO cargo is due to arrive around the weekend, which is likely to improve supply further.

LSMGO remains readily available with lead times of 2-3 days. HSFO availability is getting tighter in Zhoushan as some suppliers are sold out. Lead times of 5-7 days have been recommended for HSFO in the port. One supplier is likely to receive an HSFO cargo around 18 January, which might alleviate the recent tightness, a source says.

Availability of all grades remains good in Hong Kong with lead times of around seven days required. A source says suppliers in Hong Kong have been witnessing declining demand so far this week.

Southern South Korean ports have lead times of 5-7 days for all grades, while western South Korean ports require slightly shorter lead times of 3-4 days.

South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu may witness weather-related disruptions from Friday onwards.

HSFO availability remains tight across the Indonesian ports of Balikpapan, Jakarta, Surabaya, Benoa and Batam.

Bad weather might impact bunkering in the Thai ports of Koi Sichang and Leam Chabang from today onwards and likely to persist through the week.

The Vietnamese ports of Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong might see delivery disruptions throughout the week, with unfavourable weather conditions forecast to hit the ports today and tomorrow, respectively.


South Asia

India’s Mumbai has good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, with lead times of 2-3 days recommended.

Prompt dates for VLSFO are available in Mundra and Kandla on India’s northwest coast. LSMGO remains readily available in Kandla, while a supplier in Mundra has almost run out of stock.

Bad weather is likely to disrupt bunkering in Sikka, another port on India’s northwest coast, between Wednesday and Thursday, a source says.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains good in the southern Indian ports of Cochin and Chennai, while Tuticorin’s availability across both the grades remain subject to enquiry.

Visakhapatnam on India’s southwestern coast can offer VLSFO and LSMGO at prompt dates. Lead times of 2-3 days are recommended for VLSFO and LSMGO in Haldia on the eastern coast of India.

The Sri Lankan ports of Colombo and Trincomalee can offer LSMGO for prompt dates.


Middle East

Demand has reportedly been weak in Fujairah so far this week. Sources attributed lower demand to a lack of movement in bulk carriers and container vessels. Recommended lead times for VLSFO have decreased to around seven days, from 8-10 days last week.

Lead times of five days have been advised for LSMGO, down from nine days previously. Lead times for HSFO have gone up slightly in the UAE port, to eight days now, from seven days last week.

The Omani ports of Duqm, Sohar, Salalah and Muscat have very good availability of LSMGO.

By Tuhin Roy


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 11 January, 2023

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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.





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: 


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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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.





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.





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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