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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Demand improves in Hong Kong; several South Korean ports face weather disruptions; availability tight across grades in Fujairah.




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:

28 March 2023

  • Demand improves in Hong Kong
  • Several South Korean ports face weather disruptions
  • Availability tight across grades in Fujairah



Availability of VLSFO and HSFO has been getting tighter in Singapore, with recommended lead times increasing from 7-9 days last week to 8-11 days now.

LSMGO availability remains normal in the port. But lead times have gone up slightly from 3-5 days previously to 4-7 days now.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 1% higher so far this month than in February, according to Enterprise Singapore. Net fuel oil imports to Singapore have risen 14% so far this month and are at a six-month high. Imports have risen by 14%, while exports have increased by 13%.

Singapore’s middle distillate stocks have swelled by 21% so far this month over February levels.


East Asia

Lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for VLSFO in Zhoushan, and around 5-7 days are required for HSFO. Availability of LSMGO remains good, with prompt dates available - unchanged from the end of last week.

Bad weather might disrupt bunkering in Zhoushan on Thursday.

Swells of up to a metre are forecast to hit Hong Kong between 5-6 April, which may hamper bunkering operations there.

Availability of all grades remains normal in Hong Kong, while demand has been improving, a source says. Lead times of around seven days are recommended, which is virtually the same as they have been over the last couple of weeks.

Bunker supplier CPC has taken an HSFO-carrying bunker barge out of operation for maintenance in Taiwan's Kaohsiung. HSFO supply has been put on hold until May, when the barge is expected back in operation.

Demand has been improving slightly across South Korean ports, a source says. Lead times in the country's southern ports have gone up to 7-11 days, from 4-8 days previously. Meanwhile, lead times for all grades have shortened to 3-4 days in western South Korean ports, from 4-8 days last week.

Rough seas are forecast in South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan and Yeosu between 30 March and 1 April, and thick fog has been forecast in Daesan and Taean from today onwards. This might disrupt bunkering in the ports.

Adverse weather conditions are also predicted to hamper bunker operations in the Thai port of Koh Sichang between 2-4 April, and the Kiwi port of Tauranga between 29-30 March.


South Asia

Mumbai has good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, with prompt dates available.

VLSFO and LSMGO can be delivered with around 2-3 days of lead time in several Indian ports, including Kandla on the northwest coast, Cochin and Chennai on the southern coast, and Visakhapatnam on the southwestern coast.

Availability is subject to enquiry in Tuticorin on India's southeast coast and in Haldia on the eastern coast.

However, bad weather might disrupt bunkering in India’s west coast ports of Kandla and Sikka between 3-4 April, a source says.

A supplier can offer both VLSFO and LSMGO in the Sri Lankan ports of Colombo and Trincomalee, with prompt dates available.


Middle East

All three grades are in tight availability in Fujairah. Lead times of VLSFO have increased from six days last week to around 10 days now. HSFO stems need around 13 days now - up from seven previously, while LSMGO requires 11 days - almost double the six days advised last week.

By Tuhin Roy


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 29 March, 2023

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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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