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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.





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.



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.



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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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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