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ENGINE: East of Suez Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Rough weather hampers bunkering in Zhoushan; LSMGO availability good in Omani ports; prompt availability is tight 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:

30 May 2023

  • Rough weather hampers bunkering in Zhoushan
  • LSMGO availability good in Omani ports
  • Prompt availability is tight in Fujairah



Singapore has been witnessing average demand so far this week. Prompt availability is tight for all grades in the bunker hub.

VLSFO and HSFO require lead times of 9-11 days and 7-12 days, respectively – up from 8-9 days and 6-10 days in the previous week.

Recommended lead times for LSMGO have also increased to 6-9 days from 5-7 last week.

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks have averaged 19% lower so far in May than across April, according to Enterprise Singapore. The port’s net fuel oil imports have plunged 23% lower so far this month and to their lowest level since last August. Both imports and exports are down this month. Fuel oil imports are down by 22% to a 15-month low of 22%, and fuel oil exports have also declined by 20% to a seven-month.

The port’s middle distillate stocks have also declined by 10% on average compared to April’s average.


East Asia

Most suppliers in Zhoushan are running low on VLSFO primarily due to tightness in domestic supply, a source says.

China produced 1.07 million mt of VLSFO in April, dropping by nearly 10% from a year ago, according to data information provider JLC. Multiple factors such as lower margins, refinery maintenance and lack of blending components for VLSFO led to a drop in production, JLC says.

“But the tightness of barges continues, and the tightness of barges is particularly serious, especially in Shandong ports and Zhoushan,” adds independent bunker broker Phoebe Li and Manifold Times.

Also, the yearly decline in Chinese iron ore production in April has resulted in fewer iron core carriers calling in Chinese ports. This has dented bunker demand in Chinese ports including Zhoushan. The low bunker demand coupled with persistent weather disruptions has somewhat kept a lid on tightness in the port.

Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO in Zhoushan stand at 3-5 days - unchanged from last week. HSFO lead times also remain virtually unchanged at 4-7 days – but still longer than the other grades.

However, bunker operations across all anchorages in Zhoushan have been suspended since Sunday due to bad weather conditions, a source says. Bunker deliveries are likely to resume fully on 4 June, when calmer weather is forecast.

In Hong Kong, availability is tight for VLSFO and HSFO due to a spike in demand and tight barge availability, a source says. Both grades now require lead times of 7-10 days – up from last week's 4-7 days.

LSMGO availability has improved in the port, with lead times of 3-5 days – down from last week's 4-7 days.

Bunker demand in South Korean ports was modest at the start of this week, but it has since picked up, a source says. Recommended lead times for all grades in southern and western ports stand at 3-5 days – unchanged from last week.

But intermittent bad weather is forecasted between 31 May-4 June, which could disrupt bunkering in the South Korean ports of Ulsan, Onsan, Busan, Daesan, Taean and Yeosu.

Adverse weather conditions are also anticipated to disrupt bunker deliveries in the Thai ports of Koh Sichang and Leam Chabang and the Kiwi port of Tauranga between 1-2 June.

Bad weather forecast at the Vietnamese port of Ho Chi Minh on 1 June, which might hamper bunkering.


South Asia

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

But both grades remain subject to availability in Mumbai and Tuticorin. Meanwhile, supply is subject to enquiry in Haldia.

Rough weather conditions are anticipated to disrupt bunker deliveries in India’s west coast ports of Sikka and Kandla between 31 May-3 June, and in the southwestern port of Visakhapatnam on 1 June.

Adverse weather conditions are also forecasted in the Sri Lankan port of Colombo on 3 June and 6 June, which could impact bunkering operations. Prompt supply for all grades is available with a supplier in Colombo.


Middle East

All bunker fuel grades are in tight availability in Fujairah amid good demand, a source says. Lead times of 5-7 days are recommended across all three grades in the port. VLSFO and HSFO will need around 3-6 days of lead time.

Some suppliers can offer prompt stems for all grades, but depends on the stem size, the source adds.

In the UAE port of Khor Fakkan, lead times across all grades remain unchanged on the week at 5-7 days.

LSMGO is readily available in the Omani ports of Muscat, Salalah, Sohar and Duqm, with short lead times of 2-3 days.

By Tuhin Roy


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 31 May, 2023

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Singapore: President of Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services receives ‘Industry Icon Award’

‘First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, who has been with me throughout the entire journey. I would also like to thank my team at Equatorial,’ expressed Mr Choong Kien Siong.





Choong Kien Siong receives award

The President of Singapore’s top bunker supplier Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services Pte Ltd (EMF) on Wednesday (29 November) received the ‘Industry Icon Award’ at the inaugural Marine Fuels 360 Awards 2023 Gala Dinner.

Mr Choong Kien Siong was pleased with the recognition and delivered the following speech:

“It is my great honour to receive this prestigious award. First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, who has been with me throughout the entire journey. I would also like to thank my team at Equatorial,” he expressed.

“It is together with my wife and our team that we managed to make Equatorial to what it is today. Also, a big thank you to Informa for organising this amazing event.

“There have been so many changes since I first stepped into this industry. Over the years, I have seen Singapore grow into the top maritime and bunkering hub.

“Along the way, I have made many wonderful friends and memories. Today, the industry continues to face new challenges and opportunities. Digitalisation and decarbonisation are the two big things which I have asked the younger generation to embrace seriously.

“As the world becomes more and more complex, adoption of technology is a must to handle such complexities. At the same time, we are responsible for the world that our future generations will be living in.

“One thing that will not change is Equatorial’s commitment toward providing top quality services. We will continue to do our best and ensure that we provide reliable and quality service to the industry.”

Choong Kien Siong with Informa team

The EMF office underwent a flurry of activities during the second half of 2023. The period saw EMF launching a sustainable energy business unit while conducting its first biofuel bunker sale and delivery in the Port of Singapore.

In November, EMF built upon an earlier development by working with CMS to exchange carbon credits and Proof of Sustainability certificates for a bunker fuel transaction on the SGTraDex platform.

Manifold Times in late November reported EMF placing orders for four 7,999 dwt IMO Type II Chemical and Oil Tankers that will be used as bunker tankers at the Port of Singapore.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) recorded EMF as the top bunker supplier (by volume) in 2022.

Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel builds four “new generation” methanol-ready bunker tankers
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel, CMS, SGTraDex link decarbonisation and digitalisation solutions in milestone bunker transaction
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel boosts sustainable marine fuel supply business with biofuel delivery to OOCL containership
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel launches sustainable energy business unit, commits towards multi-fuel future
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel conducts carbon credit trial with Carbon Management Solutions
Related: Exclusive: Estimated marine fuel sales figures of Singapore top 10 bunker suppliers by volume in 2022

Photo credit: Informa
Published: 1 December 2023

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Digital platform

ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier

Access to ZeroNorth Bunker Electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (eBDN) will streamline bunker processes, enabling Golden Island to drive efficiency, transparency, and contribute to decarbonising shipping.






Technology company ZeroNorth on Thursday (30 November) has announced that it has enabled its customer Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading Pte Ltd (Golden Island) to become the first marine fuel supplier in Singapore to go 100% digital in its use of Electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (eBDN).

Golden Island has chosen ZeroNorth Bunker’s eBDN solution, developed by BTS and recently consolidated under the ZeroNorth Bunker brand. The company will be able to provide 100% digital processes to increase transparency and improve collaboration. 

“Enabled by ZeroNorth’s technology platform, Golden Island plans to stop issuing physical BDNs from 1 December, as part of the company’s digitalisation initiative to move away from manual, paper-based processes and reduce its environmental impact on the journey to greener operations,” ZeroNorth said in a statement shared with Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times.

ZeroNorth’s eBDN service will digitalise the bunker delivery process for its customers, with Golden Island the first to benefit and swiftly and securely verify purchased fuel quantities, eliminate delays and ensure smooth transactions.

“This move will help Golden Island to streamline the bunkering documentation process, increasing transparency, and driving efficiency and productivity across its marine fuel delivery operations. Digitalisation will enhance crew productivity and operational efficiencies. By eliminating paper forms with ZeroNorth’s solution, Golden Island expects to save at least two hours of manual data entry work each day,” ZeroNorth added. 

By digitalising the bunkering process, ZeroNorth will turn millions of data points into actionable recommendations for Golden Island on where it can drive efficiencies and achieve greener operations. With more data being interpreted through the digitalisation of BDNs, increasingly robust insights and analysis of emissions will then be generated for customers, further powering up the marine fuel market’s data flywheel. This will also enhance reporting, as information is standardised and readily available in a digital format.

Tomohiro Yamano, General Manager, Marine Fuel Department at Golden Island, said: “A month after the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) launched its digital bunkering initiative as the first port in the world to implement eBDN, we are proud to be the first company to fully switch to eBDN in the Singapore bunkering market. To achieve this, we required a solution that would facilitate a seamless workflow to enhance the productivity and efficiency of our marine fuel delivery operations.

“We were impressed with ZeroNorth’s deep understanding of the bunker industry and the capabilities of its eBDN solution. Digitalising our bunker processes with eBDN fits in with our digitalisation initiative to enhance and streamline operations, which will in turn also drive easier reporting and analysis of emissions.”

Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director for ZeroNorth Bunker at ZeroNorth, said: “Bunker procurement has been a traditionally cumbersome process, burdened by manual documentation. We’re delighted to be helping Golden Island eliminate these manual processes to streamline documentation, drive efficiencies and boost productivity across its operations as a global eBDN solution on the market.

“Given the integral role marine fuels are set to play in decarbonising shipping, ZeroNorth is proud to help our customers and the wider industry digitalise bunker operations. The data generated will in turn help enable the data flywheel effect, driving actionable recommendations on where further efficiencies can be created for the benefit of both profit and planet.”

The first internal trial for Golden Island using ZeroNorth’s eBDN solution began in November 2022. The company is now ready to adopt it into its operations after a year testing the solution, with assistance and approval from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Manifold Times previously reported Singapore bunker supplier Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading Pte Ltd (Golden Island) will be fully adopting the electronic Bunker Delivery Note (e-BDN) for commercial bunkering operations from 1 December 2023 onwards.

Marine Fuels 360 Conference

ZeroNorth also announced it won the Digitalisation Award at the Marine Fuels 360 Awards Gala Dinner on 29 November. 

Commenting on the award, Juhls said: “We are proud and humble to get recognised by this award. The full team in ZeroNorth works hard everyday to bring value to our clients through our software solution. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with our customers, partners and the industry in our ambition of making global trade green.”

Related: Singapore: Golden Island switching to 100% e-BDN operations from 1 December
Related: ZeroNorth consolidates existing bunkering business following acquisitions 
Related: Singapore set to become first port in the world to debut electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: MPA Chief Executive: Port of Singapore begins digital bunkering initiative today 
Related: ZeroNorth acquires Singapore’s bunker supplier software provider BTS
Related: ZeroNorth acquires Prosmar Bunker Dashboard solution and Bunker Pricer module
Related: ZeroNorth acquires US-based bunker market platform ClearLynx
Related: ZeroNorth unveils ZeroNorth Bunker for bunker planning, procurement, and analytics
Related: ZeroNorth opens new office in Singapore to expand in Asia
Related: Singapore: Marine Fuels 360 Awards and Conference 2023 to bring together industry’s best

Photo credit: ZeroNorth / Informa Markets
Published: 30 November, 2023

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Kenoil Marine Services to conduct first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in Singapore

“Kosmos Lily” is slated to supply bio-blended LSMGO, sourced from Alpha Biofuels, representing the first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in Port of Singapore, says Jurong Port.





Kenoil Marine Services to conduct first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in Singapore

Jurong Port on Wednesday (29 November) said Kenoil Marine Services Pte Ltd, a licensed bunker supplier, successfully loaded 200 metric tonnes of B24 bio-blended Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) in Singapore.

The B24 marine biofuel blend was onto Kenoil Marine’s bunker tanker Kosmos Lily.

Kosmos Lily is slated to supply this bio-blended LSMGO, sourced from Alpha Biofuels, representing the first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in the Port of Singapore,” Jurong Port said in a social media post.

“Jurong Port takes pride in serving as the preferred port infrastructure for biofuel bunkering, and supporting the maritime industry's energy transition toward achieving net-zero emissions.”

Separately, Allan Lim Yee Chian, Founder and CEO at Alpha Biofuels, said the firm has been working to produce, blend and supply better quality biofuels for the maritime industry for over the last two years.

“We focused a lot on traceability of the biofuels , stability of the blended product and also the cost of the product,” he said in a social media post.

“The result is a bio-bunker fuel that balances the need for decarbonisation by the industry against the cost of sustainable biofuel.”

Photo credit: Jurong Port
Published: 30 November, 2023

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