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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Supply remains tight in Gibraltar Strait ports; ARA fuel oil and gasoil stocks fall; calmer weather helps clear Algoa Bay backlog.

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ENGINE Europe

The following article regarding Europe and Africa bunker fuel availability has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

8 June 2022

  • Supply remains tight in Gibraltar Strait ports
  • ARA fuel oil and gasoil stocks fall
  • Calmer weather helps clearing Algoa Bay backlog

 

Northwest Europe

Availability of LSMGO seems normal in ARA ports and some suppliers are offering prompt deliveries. Fuel oils can be in tight supply for prompt dates with recommended lead times of around four days for VLSFO and a minimum of seven days for HSFO, sources say.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks dropped in the week to 2 June, after gradually adding weight in most weeks since slumping to a low in April, according to Insights Global.

Fuel oil stocks in the region dropped by 240,000 bbls to 6.68 million bbls in the week to 2 June, and gasoil stocks fell by 120,000 bbls to 11.24 million bbls.

Russia remained the ARA’s top source for fuel oil imports in May, followed by the UK, Algeria and France, according to cargo tracker Vortexa.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in the German port of Hamburg with recommended lead times of around five days across fuel grades, a source says.

In Bremerhaven, supply of LSMGO is said to be good while prompt deliveries of VLSFO and HSFO are more difficult to find there, a source says. One supplier can typically offer prompt VLSFO and HSFO, depending on quantity.

 

Mediterranean

Bunker supplies are under pressure in the Gibraltar Strait ports, particularly for HSFO, sources say.

Prompt volumes of HSFO can be difficult to find in Gibraltar, where prices have been trading higher premiums over Rotterdam this week. But the recommended lead time for HSFO stems in Gibraltar is similar to that in Rotterdam at around 5-7 days.

Prompt supply of VLSFO is also difficult to find in Gibraltar, and one supplier is waiting for replenishment set to arrive around 15 June, a source says.

Bunker congestion in Gibraltar has eased this week, with three vessels waiting for space at anchorage on Wednesday, down from 11 on Tuesday, according to port agent MH Bland. Two suppliers are experiencing 2-14 hours of delays.

In Ceuta, a supplier has halted deliveries at anchorage for a week from Monday while its barge is at drydock for maintenance, a source says. Meanwhile, bunkering operations are running smoothly in Ceuta with no reported congestion this week.

In Malta, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal, and some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries, a source says. However, strong winds and gusts forecast for Thursday and Friday could cause some offshore bunker disruptions. Seatrans Shipping agency expects only Area 4 of the island state’s six offshore bunkering areas will be operational during high winds from Thursday evening to Friday morning.

 

Africa

Favourable weather conditions in Algoa Bay during week has helped in clearing some bunker backlogs, where four vessels were in line to bunker on Wednesday, down from six on Tuesday and nine on Monday, Rennies Ships Agency says.

However, strong winds are forecast in Algoa Bay on Sunday and could disrupt some bunker operations, a source says.

Suppliers in Algoa Bay have been working through a considerable backlog of vessels through this week. Bunker supply capacity improved from Friday following the removal of daylight restrictions on Thursday. These restrictions were imposed to investigate and clean up an oil spilled during a ship-to-ship transfer in late May.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO are currently tight in Durban, but suppliers are expecting replenishment around 10 June, a source says.

 

Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 9 June, 2022

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Technology

SMW 2024: MPA partners with S&P Global and Bunkerchain in digital ship identity

MPA signed a MoU with S&P Global and Bunkerchain to use Singapore as test bed to trial and pilot use of digital ship identity in maritime applications such as digital port clearance and digital bunkering.

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SMW 2024: MPA partners with S&P Global and Bunkerchain in digital ship identity

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Tuesday (16 April) announced it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with S&P Global Market Intelligence and Bunkerchain to pilot the use of digital ship identity in the republic. 

The signing took place at the ‘Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference’ at Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) on the same day.

The parties agreed to use the Port of Singapore as the test bed to trial and pilot the use of digital ship identity in maritime applications such as digital port clearance and digital bunkering.

Digital identity refers to the unique representation of an entity in the digital world, which consists of various attributes and data that distinguishes it from others.

“Electronic transactions may be vulnerable to various risks as such identity fraud and data integrity breaches,” MPA said.

“Digital ship identity plays a crucial role in making electronic transactions more secure, trusted, and efficient in the maritime sector. When deployed in tandem with electronic signatures, these digital technologies will eliminate the need for physical ship stamps and wet ink signatures, and accelerate the transition towards a truly digital, secure, and paperless operations.”

MPA, together with Esri Singapore, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Institute of High Performance Computing and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore, also developed a digital twin proof-of-concept of a methanol bunkering leak incident. 

“The digital twin runs on an interactive web application that integrates weather and ocean current predictions and AIS data to present visualisation of chemical plume dispersions in the event of a bunkering incident involving alternative fuels,” it said.  

“The capability can help enhance planners’ understanding of the behaviour of the plume clouds under various conditions and guide the development of safety and incident response plans and standards.”

The port authority also announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, to support the maritime industry’s digital transformation and green transition. 

MPA will tap on AWS services including cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital twins to enhance the industry’s efficiency, safety, and sustainability outcomes. 

As part of the collaboration, MPA and AWS will develop the maritime Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI–ML) Digital Hub, the first-of-its-kind in ASEAN region. 

The AI–ML Digital Hub will leverage AWS cloud to enable the maritime industry to pilot innovative AI and generative AI (GenAI) capabilities to trial on the Green and Digital Shipping Corridors, optimising routes and fuel consumption, carbon emissions accounting, and just-in-time arrivals to help ships operate more efficiently, reduce greenhouse gases emissions, and enhance safety of operations.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Mr David Foo, Assistant Chief Executive (Operations Technology), MPA and Ms Elsie Tan, Country Manager, Worldwide Public Sector, Singapore, AWS.

Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects

 

Photo credit: Bunkerchain
Published: 16 April 2024

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

‘Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,’ says Chee Hong Tat.

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SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for a multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

Singapore has moved decisively to ensure energy and fuel resilience as international shipping looks to alternative fuels to meet global decarbonisation targets, said Singapore’s Minister for Transport Mr Chee Hong Tat on Monday (15 April).

In his speech at the Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2024 opening ceremony, he said Singapore is preparing its port for a multi-fuel future.

“Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,” he said.

“MPA has also issued Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the alternative fuels ammonia and methanol over this past year.

“For our ammonia EOI, we have shortlisted six consortiums, and are studying their comprehensive proposals for the supply of ammonia for bunkering and power generation in Singapore.”

Chee added reliability and resilience also mean that Singapore upholds the highest standards for safety, efficiency, and quality. 

“Enterprise Singapore, through the Singapore Standards Council, has been working closely with industry partners to introduce national standards to support the digitalisation of bunkering supply chain documentation, as well as on methanol and ammonia bunkering.”

“As a major maritime and bunkering hub, Singapore is committed to continue serving as a trusted node for international shipping.”

Chee said this when elaborating on Singapore’s focus to grow the republic as a hub for reliable and resilient maritime operations, one of three important areas the republic will prioritise on growing its maritime sector. 

The other two areas are to grow Maritime Singapore as a hub for maritime innovation and as a hub for maritime talent development.

“Looking ahead, we expect some turbulence along the way, but we are confident that the global maritime industry will continue to grow,” Chee said.

“And Singapore as a hub port and International Maritime Centre can benefit from this growth and the opportunities it brings, including in emerging areas like digitalisation and decarbonisation.”

However, Chee warned Singapore shouldn’t take its success for granted and to continue improving productivity and competitiveness while staying relevant to changing requirements to be able to meet the needs of local and international stakeholders. 

“But we must not rest on our laurels, or make the mistake of thinking that these positive outcomes will happen on auto-pilot. A rising tide can indeed lift all boats, but the boat and its crew can only benefit if they are well-prepared when the water level rises,” he said.

Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects
RelatedSMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: Singapore gets its first dedicated methanol bunkering tanker “MT MAPLE”
Related: Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 16 April 2024

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Biofuel

Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming’s inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China, says firm.

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Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Banle Energy International Limited, a subsidiary of CBL International Limited, on Monday (15 April) announced the arrangement of B24 biofuel bunkering services for Yang Ming's vessel YM Utility at a port in Yantian, Shenzhen on 14 April.

“By providing Yang Ming with our B24 biofuel bunkering services, this transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming's inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China,” the firm in a social media post. 

“As a company actively promoting the use of biofuels, we are making a significant contribution to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from international shipping.”

“The B24 biofuel blend, as indicated by a study, is projected to reduce approximately 20% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions when compared with conventional fuel oil.”

As the firm focuses on expanding its operations in Europe, the firm added it will continue to forge strategic partnerships and explore new opportunities to provide efficient and reliable solutions.

 

Photo credit: Banle Energy International Limited
Published: 16 April 2024

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