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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

VLSFO, HSFO supply slightly tight in Gibraltar Strait ports; Russia becomes the ARA’s biggest fuel oil source again; Bunker supply normal in Durban and Algoa Bay.

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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:

19 October 2022 

  • VLSFO, HSFO supply slightly tight in Gibraltar Strait ports
  • Russia becomes the ARA’s biggest fuel oil source again
  • Bunker supply normal in Durban and 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. Recommended lead times for the two grades in Rotterdam are 3-4 days, while HSFO requires longer lead times of 5-7 days, a source says.

Meanwhile, independently held fuel oil and gasoil inventories in the ARA dropped last week, according to Insights Global data. The region’s fuel oil stocks decreased by 460,000 bbls to 6.65 million bbls in the week to 13 October and remained below their five-year average position.

Russia has regained its position of top fuel oil exporter to the ARA, according to Vortexa cargo tracking data. Most of the region’s fuel oil imports have come from Russia so far in October, and some quantities have arrived from other countries including Estonia, Colombia, France, Bulgaria and Poland.

This came as a surprise as there were no Russian fuel oil volumes imported to the ARA in July, August and September, Vortexa data shows. EU countries have agreed to phase out imports of Russian crude oil and oil products towards embargo deadlines by December and February, respectively. This means that there is still scope for fuel oil and gasoil inflows until February.

The region’s gasoil stocks decreased by a significant 1.43 million bbls to 12.38 million bbls last week. And the stocks continue to be far below their five-year average position.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal off Skaw, 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.

Bunker supply is said to be tight across key ports in France including Dunkirk and Le Havre as nation-wide strike over pay hike disputes has hit the supply chain. Workers at ExxonMobil’s two French refineries ended strike late last week, while workers at TotalEnergies' three refineries are still on strike.

Workers at ExxonMobil's 140,000 b/d Fos and 240,000 b/d Port Jerome refineries are gradually returning to work after a strike action that lasted more than three weeks. These refineries could take 2-3 weeks to fully restart operations, a company spokesperson told Reuters.

 

Mediterranean

Securing prompt delivery of VLSFO can be slightly difficult in Gibraltar, a source says. One supplier in the Gibraltar Strait expects to be low on VLSFO stocks until around 24 October.

Gibraltar’s VLSFO price is at a slight discount to Las Palmas, while at premiums over other regional ports including Algeciras, Malta and Ceuta. Prompt supply of LSMGO is said to be normal in Gibraltar, while HSFO remains subject to enquiries.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Algeciras, Malta, Ceuta and Las Palmas, sources say.

Bad weather conditions have raised concerns over smooth bunker deliveries in Las Palmas. Swells of 1.5 metres hit Las Palmas on Wednesday. Strong swells are forecast on Thursday and Friday, which could disrupt deliveries at the port's weather-exposed anchorages.

Minimal congestion has been reported in Gibraltar and Algeciras this week, according to port agent MH Bland. Bunker operations are running normally in Ceuta. Eight vessels were due to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday, shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia said.

All bunkering areas are open for supply in Malta. 10 were due to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday, up from seven on Tuesday, according to Seatrans Shipping agency.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be tight in the Spanish port of Huelva, a source says.

 

Africa

No bunker backlogs were reported in Algoa Bay on Wednesday, according to shipping agent Sturrock Grindrod. Gale-force winds of up to 38 knots are forecast to hit the region on Thursday, which could disrupt smooth bunker deliveries. Eight vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay this week, Sturrock Grindrod says.

Bunker supply is said to be normal in Algoa Bay. VLSFO continues to be priced considerably lower than in nearby Durban.

In Durban, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal. Recommended lead times for both the grades are around seven days.

Port and rail workers at South Africa’s logistic company Transnet ended a strike this week. Transnet reached a three-year wage deal with one of the two unions that represent the majority of its workers. A resolution to the strikes is expected to ease cargo congestion in Durban and other South African ports, and allow for exports from the country to pick up again.

By Shilpa Sharma

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 20 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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