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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

HSFO supply tight in Gibraltar Strait ports; ARA fuel oil stocks recover from multi-month lows; bunkering resumes in Algoa Bay.

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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:

By Shilpa Sharma

12 October 2022

  • HSFO supply tight in Gibraltar Strait ports
  • ARA fuel oil stocks recover from multi-month lows
  • Bunkering resumes in Algoa Bay

Northwest Europe

Prompt supply of LSMGO and VLSFO is said to be normal in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA hub, sources say. Securing HSFO deliveries for prompt dates can be difficult.

Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO in the ARA are 3-4 days, while HSFO requires up to seven days, a source says.

Meanwhile, independently held fuel oil inventories in the ARA bounced back last week, coming up from five-month lows, according to Insights Global data. The stocks increased by 520,000 bbls to 7.11 million bbls in the week to 6 October. However, the inventories continue to be below their five-year average for the time of the year.

Signs of higher imports and a potential resumption in inflows from Russia could have contributed to the most recent stock build-up.

Cargo tracker Vortexa did not register any Russian fuel oil imports to the ARA between July and September, but picked up some quantities of inflows this month. However, most of the region’s fuel oil imports came from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania and the UK this month.

The region’s gasoil stocks increased by 200,000 bbls, to 13.81 million bbls last week. The inventories reached their highest level since December last year, but continue to be far below their five-year average position.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal off Skaw, while HSFO is slightly tight for prompt delivery, a source says. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries are around seven days. HSFO requires a longer lead time of around 10 days.

Workers at ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies' refineries in France are on strike over pay disputes. The strike action has impacted bunker supply in the French ports of Dunkirk and Le Havre, sources say. LSMGO supply is tight there, and securing VLSFO deliveries are difficult for prompt dates.

Mediterranean

VLSFO and LSMGO supply is said to be normal in Gibraltar Strait ports, but HSFO is tight for prompt delivery, sources say. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in the region are around 3-4 days, while HSFO requires longer period of up to seven days, a source says.

Two suppliers in Gibraltar Strait are running low on HSFO stocks.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Gibraltar, Algeciras, Ceuta and Las Palmas, sources say.

Bad weather conditions have raised concerns over smooth bunker deliveries in Las Palmas. Strong winds, and waves ranging up to 1.8 metres, are forecast to hit Las Palmas on Wednesday, which could disrupt bunker operations at the port’s weather-exposed outer anchorage.

Even though Las Palmas' outer anchorage was open for bunker operations on Wednesday, some vessels had been taking deliveries at the more sheltered inner anchorage, port agent MH Bland says. Delays are expected this week as the weather is set to worsen towards the end of the week and stay rough until Saturday.

Congestion has been reduced in Gibraltar this week, and no backlogs have been reported in Malta or Ceuta. Two vessels were waiting to bunker in Gibraltar on Wednesday, down from five on Tuesday. One supplier was experiencing 16-20 hours of delay, MH Bland says.

10 vessels were due to arrive for bunkers in Ceuta on Wednesday, up from eight on Tuesday, shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia says.

VLSFO and LSMGO supply is normal in Malta, with some suppliers offering prompt deliveries, a source says.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, suppliers can offer limited quantities of VLSFO, LSMGO and HSFO for prompt dates.

Africa

Suppliers are working through a backlog of vessels in Algoa Bay, where bunkering resumed on Wednesday after being suspended for two days due to bad weather.

Two vessels received bunkers at anchorages on Wednesday, while four were held up waiting, according to Rennies Ships Agency. 16 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay this week.

Suppliers in Algoa Bay are said to have normal availability of fuel volumes. VLSFO continues to be priced considerably lower than in nearby Durban.

Availability of LSMGO is normal in Durban, but VLSFO is tight for prompt dates, sources say. The recommended lead time for VLSFO delivery in Durban is around 10 days, and LSMGO requires around seven days.

Workers at South Africa’s logistic company Transnet have been on strike since 6 October over pay disputes. Strike action that could span across South African ports has raised serious concerns over cargo operations. But no impact has so far been seen on bunker operations, sources say.

 

Photo credit: ENGINE
Published: 13 October, 2022

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Poland: ORLEN to strengthen position in bunker fuels sector with new oil terminal

With the terminal’s commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports with conventional marine fuels and biofuels.

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ORLEN oil terminals

Polish multinational oil refiner ORLEN Group on Wednesday (12 June) said it is solidifying its presence in the marine fuels market with the construction of a new oil terminal that is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2025.

Construction of the Martwa Wisła terminal, located on the Martwa Wisła river, has already exceeded 70%.

The Martwa Wisła terminal will enhance the logistics capabilities of the Gdańsk refinery, allowing for the transshipment of approximately 2 million tonnes of fuel products annually.

The first four loading arms have already arrived at the construction site and the remaining four loading arms are slated for delivery by the end of June. The devices, with a throughput capacity of up to 500m³/h, will be used at transshipment points to load tankers.

With the terminal's commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) with conventional fuels and biofuels.

For over 20 years, the Group has been supplying quality marine fuels to all Polish seaports. Its refinery product portfolio encompasses a wide range of fuels that guarantee quality and strict compliance with regulations, including MGO (DMA 0.1%S), ULSFO (RMD80 0.1% S) and LNG, which will in the near future be complemented with ‘green’ alternatives.

All marine fuels offered by ORLEN comply with the international ISO 8217:2017 standard and meet the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.

 

Photo credit: ORLEN Group
Published: 14 June 2024

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Australia: Crew of bunker tanker “Champion 63” to strike following employer’s refusal to negotiate

‘BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low,’ states MUA spokesman.

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Champion 63

The crew of Champion 63, a 2022-built Australia-registered bunker tanker with home port of Brisbane, is set to go on strike after bargaining for a new enterprise agreement has stalled, stated the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on Wednesday (12 June).

Members of the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and MUA voted up protected industrial action on 11 June 2024.

The crews have been trying to formalise their employment conditions with ASP Ship Management since the bunkering operations commenced in February 2023. It took ASP approximately six months to issue the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) and start bargaining.

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“The crew of the new bunker barge on the Brisbane River and the maritime unions bent over backwards to make this vessel work,” said MUA Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Gallagher.

“Including low wages, excessive hours and a roster that does not allow crew to take leave. 18 months down the track when it comes time for BP to reward their crew and pay industry standards what do they do? They deny them fair wages, a workable roster and threaten their back pay!”

The AMOU filed a bargaining dispute after ASP refused to take their claim for a roster that does not demand that crews work every weekend seriously.

“Having to work every weekend because ASP does not have suitable relief arrangements is unacceptable,” said AMOU Industrial Officer Tracey Ellis.

“Crews have a right to be rostered time off to spend with their family. Waiting for ASP to fix the issue did not work, filing a Bargaining Dispute in the Fair Work Commission did not work, so the crews will take protected industrial action until their concerns are taken seriously.”

The crews onboard the Champion 63 voted up an unlimited number of stoppages of work of between one hour and 48 hours.

Gallagher added that, “the Maritime unions will not tolerate the big multinational fuel barons of this world undermining the Australian maritime wages and conditions of seven local mariners who are trying their best to support our own local shipping and Cruise Ship industry. If your cruise holiday gets delayed it is because, after recording over $40 billion profit in last two years, BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low.”

 

Photo credit: Maritime Union of Australia
Published: 13 June 2024

 

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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.

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Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (Sustainability.Infineum.com), which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website (www.Infineum.com) to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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