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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Bunkering suspended in Gibraltar; ARA fuel oil, gasoil inventories add weight; bunker supply normal in Algoa Bay and Durban.





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:

21 September 2022

  • Bunkering suspended in Gibraltar
  • ARA fuel oil, gasoil inventories add weight
  • Bunker supply normal in Algoa Bay and Durban


Northwest Europe

LSMGO is readily available in the ARA hub with several suppliers now offering prompt deliveries, sources say. The recommended lead time for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA is around three days.

Securing VLSFO and HSFO stems for prompt dates can be difficult, especially for HSFO. Some suppliers are running low on fuel oil in storage and await resupply, sources say. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and HSFO deliveries in the ARA region are around 5-7 days.

Independently held fuel oil inventories in the ARA added some weight last week. The stocks increased by 30,000 bbls to 7.16 million bbls in the week to 15 September, according to Global Insights.

According to cargo tracker Vortexa, 260,000 b/d of fuel oil was imported in the region in the first fortnight of this month, up from 162,000 b/d in August.

Russian fuel oil imports accounted for about a quarter of ARA's fuel oil imports in July, but nothing was imported throughout August or so far this month.

Signs of higher non-Russian inflows could have contributed the increase in fuel oil stocks. Vortexa has picked up fuel oil cargoes flowing into the ARA from the UK, Greece, Germany, Saudi Arabia and other sources.

The region’s gasoil stocks increased by 150,000 bbls, to 12.44 million bbls last week.

Some suppliers can offer limited quantities of VLSFO and HSFO off Skaw, but prompt availability is tight. Recommended lead times for the two grades are around seven days, a source says.



Bunker operations have been halted in Gibraltar since Tuesday as local authorities are working to clear debris and an oil sheen formed by residual fuel oil from the recently damaged OS 35 bulk carrier.

Some quantities of unpumpable VLSFO and residues from the dirty fuel tanks of OS 35 have escaped booms, Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) says.

On 30 August, the OS 35 collided with LNG carrier Adam LNG while it was trying to navigate out of the Bay of Gibraltar. Bunker operations were halted in Gibraltar after the incident and resumed on 9 September.

With bunkering suspended in Gibraltar, bunker calls are expected to rise in nearby ports such as Algeciras, Ceuta, Las Palmas and Malta.

Congestion has built up at inner and outer anchorages in Algeciras, while bunkering is progressing normally in other nearby ports, port agent MH Bland says.

No congestion has been reported in Ceuta, while one supplier experienced 4-6 hours of delay on Wednesday, MH Bland says.

Nine vessels were due to arrive bunkers in Malta on Wednesday, up from eight on Tuesday, according to Seatrans Shipping agency.

Bunker supply is said to be normal in Gibraltar Strait ports as of now, but LSMGO availability is slightly tight in Algeciras, a source says. Some suppliers can offer VLSFO and LSMGO in Las Palmas for prompt dates.

Availability across all fuel grades is said to be good in Gibraltar, but bunker delivery timings will depend on when the port reopens for bunkering, sources say.

VLSFO supply is tight for prompt delivery in Spain’s Valencia, while LSMGO availability is normal, a source says. Some suppliers can offer limited quantities of VLSFO and LSMGO in Barcelona.



Bunker operations resumed at anchorages in Algoa Bay on Tuesday after being suspended on Monday due to bad weather, Rennies Ships Agency says.

Conducive weather conditions have helped suppliers to clear the bunker backlogs in Algoa Bay. 24 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in the bay between Wednesday and Sunday, shipping agent Sturrock Grindrod says.

Meanwhile, vessels over 90,000 gross registered tonnes (GRT) will no longer be required to hire tugboats while bunkering in Algoa Bay. The tugboat requirement has initially been lifted for a three-month trial period. This will ease bunker restrictions for large vessels and expedite operations in Algoa Bay, a source says.

Bunker supply is said to be normal in Algoa Bay and Durban, with some suppliers offering prompt deliveries of VLSFO and LSMGO. Recommended lead times for the two grades in Durban are around seven days.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 22 September, 2022

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DB Schenker to ship Avolta cargo between Europe and US with bio bunker fuel

All containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona – Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel.





DB Schenker

Travel retailer Avolta recently said it entered an agreement in Spain with logistics service provider DB Schenker for the transport of goods using marine biofuel between Europe and the United States.

From now on, all containers that Avolta will move on the Barcelona - Miami route, using biofuel, will be shipped on low emission through the application of waste-based marine biofuels and additional units of sustainable marine biofuel, to achieve additional compensation of the biofuel’s upstream emissions.

“This biofuel switch could prevent over 150 tons of CO2e Well-to-Wake emissions per year, based on Avolta’s 2023 container volume on this route, reducing up to 84% of the CO2 emissions,” the firm said.

The fuel used is Used Cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) and is based on renewable and sustainable sources, mainly waste cooking oil. 

The application will be guided by the Book & Claim System, a set of principles that have been developed through a global, multi-stakeholder process with third-party validation to ensure that the use of this chain of custody model has full traceability and credibility, as well as a demonstrable climate impact.

Camillo Rossotto, Chief Public Affairs & ESG Officer Avolta, said: “We are taking a significant step forward towards decarbonising our shipments and route transportations.”

“This agreement represents the starting point of the transitioning to biofuel for ocean freight which will contribute to decarbonising our logistic emission. Our company's commitment to sustainability is firm and long-term and, as proof of this, we are planning to increase the volume of containers transported using biofuel, advancing in the sustainable and low-emission transportation industry."

Miguel Ángel de la Torre, director of maritime transport at DB Schenker in Iberia, said: "Our mission is to help, facilitate, and guide our customers in the sustainable transformation, and on this occasion, we are doing so by offering this biofuel so that they can convert their freight transport into low-emission transport.”

“In this way, our customer Avolta is not only pioneering and helping to reduce emissions but is also ahead of the new regulations and associated benefits that will be tightened in the coming years.”


Photo credit: DB Schenker
Published: 21 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

MAN Energy Solutions rejoins SEA-LNG coalition

‘MAN ES, alongside other members of the SEA-LNG coalition, are making great strides in tackling methane slip in engine technologies where it still exists,’ says Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman.





MAN Energy Solutions rejoins SEA-LNG

Global multi-sector industry coalition SEA LNG on Thursday (20 June) announced that MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) will rejoin its coalition.  

As a provider of flexible and powerful propulsion solutions for LNG marine applications, SEA LNG said MAN ES caters to the growing demands of the shipping industry for LNG propulsion and equipment across dual fuel LNG-powered ships, LNG carriers, FRSUs, LNG feeder and bunker vessels, as well as for gas supply infrastructure. All MAN ES technology is fully compatible with net-zero biomethane and e-methane.

“MAN ES’s technical expertise adds to the technical skills and experience of SEA-LNG members, already achieving reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. MAN ES’s two-stroke high-pressure engine technology is one of those delivering virtually no methane slip in the LNG combustion process today,” it said.

In addition, MAN ES is making significant progress in eradicating methane slip in its four-stroke engines. Over the last ten years, MAN ES has already been able to halve methane slip in its four-stroke gas engines and is aiming for a further 20% reduction by continuously improving the combustion process.

MAN ES's IMOKAT II project has secured investment from the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action to develop an after-treatment technology to further reduce methane slip from its four-stroke engines, ultimately aiming for a 70% reduction of methane emissions at 100% load.  

Stefan Eefting, Senior Vice President and Head of MAN PrimeServ Germany at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “While shipping remains the most environmentally-friendly form of transport, the many vessels powered by our technology means that MAN Energy Solutions has a special responsibility to help move the industry to net-zero; we are very happy to work with like-minded partners in achieving this.”

“Our unique ability to assess the future-fuel mix is, in great part, based on our dual-fuel engine development, which promotes LNG and other alternative green fuels that have a key role to play on the path to decarbonisation.” 

Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman, said: “The shipping industry’s decarbonisation drive is at a tipping point as global and regional regulations begin to impact shipowners financially.”

“As these regulatory changes continue to be felt, LNG as a marine fuel, and its decarbonisation pathway through liquified biomethane and e-methane, offers the most practical and realistic solution. The LNG solution is playing a critical role in enabling emissions reductions, starting today.”

“If we want to continue to unlock this pathway’s potential, we need the right expertise and MAN ES’s experience and insights will be critical to ensuring LNG, biomethane and e-methane firmly take their place in the basket of alternative marine fuels.”

Keller continued: “We are proud to represent the entire LNG value chain, and the addition of MAN ES only adds to our roster of industry-leading first movers to promote the LNG pathway. In particular, MAN ES, alongside other members of the SEA-LNG coalition, are making great strides in tackling methane slip in engine technologies where it still exists. With constant advances in technology, we are confident the issue of methane slip can be solved within this decade.” 


Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 21 June, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

LR report highlights potential of LPG as bunker fuel in delivering emission reduction

Study, however, outlines that technology readiness will need to improve for LPG to become a viable choice for shipowners and operators looking to transition their fleet to low and zero-carbon vessels.





LR report highlights potential of LPG as bunker fuel in delivering emission reduction

Using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a marine fuel could deliver a significant carbon reduction, particularly alongside other emissions reduction and energy saving technologies, helping shipowners comply with more stringent regulations into the next decade, according to Lloyd’s Register recently.

The Fuel for Thought: LPG, a joint report from Lloyd’s Register (LR) and the World Liquid Gas Association (WLGA) has found that the market for dual-fuel LPG engines will continue to grow based on a healthy orderbook, with LPG offering a cleaner, lower carbon emission marine energy source than many alternatives currently available.

According to the report, the use of LPG as a marine fuel combined with technology such as Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) can reduce a vessel’s emissions profile, with the added benefit of reducing the required CO2 storage capacity, due to the lower CO2 emissions from LPG combustion. This allows the technology to work more effectively and offers shipowners a pathway towards future regulatory compliance.  

The report, however, outlines that technology readiness will need to improve for LPG to become a viable choice for shipowners and operators looking to transition their fleet to low and zero-carbon vessels.  

Although well established, the range of available engine technologies will need to be expanded to enable widespread adoption of LPG on multiple vessel types. 

Currently there is no four-stroke marine engine capable of using LPG, meaning auxiliary engines on vessels would need to be decarbonised through an additional fuel.

A safe bunkering framework must be also developed to encourage uptake of LPG. Regulations remain in their early stages, with interim guidelines recently published by IMO.

Panos Mitrou, Global Gas Segment Director, Lloyd’s Register, said: “The pace and scale of renewable production for LPG remains a critical factor in initiating the wider adoption of LPG as a marine fuel.”

“Supportive energy-saving technologies, as along with potentially maturing onboard carbon capture and storage, will further assist in making LPG a viable low-zero carbon fuel.”

“By ensuring this, LPG could offer attractive operating and capital costs compared to other alternative fuels as shipowners look to decarbonise their fleets in line with more stringent regulations."

Nikos Xydas, World Liquid Gas Association Technical Director, said: “LPG stands as a unique and exceptional energy source, pivotal for decarbonising the shipping sector.”

“Stored and transported as a liquid and consumed as a gas, it is well recognised for its lower emission benefits as a marine fuel. With a surge in orders for LPG-fuelled ships, it's clear that LPG's role in the shipping industry is expanding.”

“As the world moves towards deep decarbonisation targets, LPG emerges as an ideal fuel for all vessel types, offering a cleaner alternative fuel today and a pathway for an even cleaner future tomorrow.”

“Its flexibility, low emissions, and cost-effectiveness position LPG as the potential fuel of choice in the shipping sector, paving also the way for low-cost deep-sea decarbonisation with the advent of bio/renewable LPG.”

Note: The ‘Fuel for Thought: LPG’ report can be found here.


Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 21 June, 2024

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