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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Bunker supply slightly tight in Gibraltar but suppliers can offer LSMGO for prompt dates; ARA fuel oil, gasoil stocks add more weight; bunkering resumes in Algoa Bay.





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:

24 August 2022

  • Bunker supply slightly tight in Gibraltar
  • ARA fuel oil, gasoil stocks add more weight
  • Bunkering resumes in Algoa Bay


Northwest Europe

Securing prompt supply of VLSFO and HSFO can be slightly difficult in the ARA hub this week, while LSMGO is more readily available, sources say. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam is three days. HSFO and VLSFO deliveries require longer lead times of around five days.

Independently held gasoil stocks in the ARA have steadily grown since they hit a multi-year low in June this year. The stocks increased by 140,000 bbls to 11.35 million bbls in the week ending 18 August, according to Insights Global data.

Fuel oil stocks in the region also increased by 20,000 bbls to 7.69 million bbls last week, Insights Global data shows.

Meanwhile, there are concerns that vessel congestion may increase in the ARA this week amid strike action at Britain’s Port of Felixstowe. Around 2,000 dockworkers in Felixstowe have started an eight-day strike from Sunday after negotiations over pay hikes failed.

Besides, dockworkers in another British port, Liverpool, are planning a similar strike action.

“With such large strikes carriers are likely to have to offload UK-bound cargo in major hubs such as Antwerp and Rotterdam and as a consequence further worsen existing congestion problems on the continent as well,” liner consultancy firm Vespucci Maritime’s chief executive Lars Jensen said recently.

HSFO can be slightly tight for prompt delivery off Skaw, while some suppliers can offer LSMGO for early dates, a source says. Recommended lead times for the two grades are 7-10 days.

Bunker supply is normal in Hamburg. Recommended lead times for VLSFO, HSFO and LSMGO are around five days, a source says.

LSMGO availability is normal in Bremerhaven, while VLSFO and HSFO deliveries remain subject to enquiries.



Prompt supply of HSFO and VLSFO can be hard to find in Gibraltar, but suppliers can offer LSMGO for prompt dates, sources say. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and HSFO are around seven days, while LSMGO has a shorter lead time of 4-5 days.

More congestion has been reported in Gibraltar this week. There were six vessels waiting to bunker in Gibraltar on Wednesday morning, up from five on Tuesday and around two last week, port agent MH Bland says.

No backlog has been reported in Ceuta this week, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia. Bunker availability is said to be normal in Ceuta, a source says.

Concerns over smooth bunker deliveries have eased in Las Palmas amid calmer weather conditions. Waves have reduced to a more moderate level of 1.6 metres on Wednesday, allowing more suppliers to offer deliveries at weather-exposed outer anchorage, MH Bland says.

Last week, some suppliers were forced to offer deliveries only at Las Palmas' more sheltered inner anchorage due to harsh weather, a source says. Bunker supply is said to be normal in Las Palmas. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery is 3-4 days, a source says.

All ports in Malta and offshore bunkering areas are open for supply, with no backlogs reported, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. Nine vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday.



Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday after remaining suspended for the past five days due to rough weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency.

Waves have come down to a moderate level of 2 metres on Wednesday, from 4.6 metres on Tuesday, and around 7 metres last week. Bad weather and suspended bunkering has created a backlog of vessels in Algoa Bay. Suppliers are now working to clear this backlog, Rennies says.

Three vessels were waiting to bunker at anchorage on Wednesday. 14 more vessels are scheduled to arrive throughout the rest of the days this week. Waves are forecast to rise again on Thursday, which could further disrupt bunker deliveries.

Meanwhile, bunker supply is said to be normal in Algoa Bay and Durban, sources say. Recommended lead times for the two grades are 7-10 days.


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 25 August, 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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