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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

Low sulphur supply normal in the ARA; ARA fuel oil stocks growing in November; bunkering running normally 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:

23 November 2022

  • Low sulphur supply normal in the ARA
  • ARA fuel oil stocks growing in November
  • Bunkering running normally in Algoa Bay


Northwest Europe

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Rotterdam and other ports in the ARA hub. Suppliers can offer delivery of LSMGO for prompt dates. Recommended lead times for LSMGO and VLSFO in Rotterdam are around four days, while HSFO may require 5-6 days, sources say.

The ARA's independent fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% higher so far this month than in October, according to Insights Global data. Even as fuel oil inventories have been building this month, they are still below their five-year average position for the year.

The ARA’s average gasoil stocks have come down and remain far below their five-year average position.

According to market sources, the workers’ strike at the BP refinery in Rotterdam has not impacted bunker supplies in the ARA. According to Argus Media, most workers at BP’s 393,800 b/d Rotterdam refinery voted to minimise productivity last week in a work-to-rule action, after hitting an impasse over pay hikes.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal off Skaw, requiring lead times of around seven days, a source says. Securing prompt delivery of HSFO can be difficult there, the source adds.

Bunker supply is said to be normal in the UK’s Falmouth port, where suppliers can offer prompt delivery of LSMGO, a source says.

Prompt supply of LSMGO is also good in Bremerhaven, a source says.



Bunker fuels supply is still slightly tight in Gibraltar Strait ports. Some suppliers can offer VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries for prompt dates there, while HSFO supply remains subject to enquiries. HSFO delivery in the region requires a minimum lead time of seven days, a source says.

One supplier in Gibraltar and three in Algeciras are running behind schedule, according to port agent MH Bland.

All bunkering areas have been closed for supply off Malta since Tuesday as strong winds and heavy swells have disrupted deliveries there, according to Seatrans Shipping agency. One bunkering area is expected to resume operations from Thursday morning, when calmer weather conditions are forecast. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers across ports and offshore anchorages on Wednesday, Seatrans says.

Outer anchorage bunkering has been suspended in Las Palmas since Monday due to bad weather conditions. The weather is forecast to remain harsh in Las Palmas until Sunday, which could keep bunker operations suspended at the port’s weather-exposed outer anchorage. Meanwhile, bunker deliveries via ex-pipe at berth, or by barge at the port's inner anchorage, are available, MH Bland says. Las Palmas' inner anchorage has a limited bunker capacity of only one vessel at a time.

Bunkering is progressing normally in Ceuta with seemingly good demand this week. 11 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday, largely unchanged from 12 a week earlier, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Cia. Bunker supply is said to be normal there.

In the Greek port of Piraeus, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal, a source says.



Bunker operations are running normally in Algoa Bay. But strong winds are forecast to hit the region on Thursday, which could cause delays. 17 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Algoa Bay and Port Elizabeth this week, according to Rennies Ships Agency.

Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in South Africa’s Durban and Algoa Bay. Recommended lead times for the two products is around seven days, a source says.

Bunker supply of VLSFO and LSMGO continues to be good in Mozambique’s Maputo and Nacala ports, and bunkering is progressing normally in both the locations, a source says. Five vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Nacala this week, and three in Maputo, the source adds.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 24 November, 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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