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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

HSFO tight prompt in the ARA; Las Palmas’ outer anchorage shut; Mozambique sees stronger demand.




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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:

28 December 2022

  • HSFO tight prompt in the ARA
  • Las Palmas’ outer anchorage shut
  • Mozambique sees stronger demand


Northwest Europe

HSFO is tight for prompt bunker delivery dates with several suppliers in the ARA. As last week, around 5-6 days of lead time is generally recommended for good coverage from suppliers. But while bunker schedules are under pressure, there are pockets of prompt availability. At least one supplier has been able to offer the grade for next-day delivery.

VLSFO and LSMGO grades are more readily available in Europe’s main bunkering hub, with around 3-4 days of lead time advised.

The ARA’s independent gasoil stocks have gradually recovered from a trough last summer, and have averaged 6% above November levels in December.

The region’s fuel oil stocks have grown marginally from November, but remain close to their lows from last May. Fuel oil imports are up by a third in December over November levels, helped to some extent by a resumption of inflowing Russian volumes.

Until this month, Vortexa had not registered any Russian fuel oil imports landing in the ARA since August. Before it invaded Ukraine, and European countries and companies responded with sanctions and self-sanctioning, Russia was the ARA’s number one import source for fuel oil. By 5 February next year, all imports of Russian fuel oil, gasoil and other oil products have to be phased out in the ARA and other EU ports.

All fuel grades are available for prompt delivery dates in Hamburg. Fuel oil grades are tight in Bremerhaven, while LSMGO is readily available there, a source says.



Next to no congestion was reported in Gibraltar on Wednesday, with only one vessel waiting for free space to be bunkered, according to port agent MH Bland. All suppliers are on schedule.

Across the bay, in Algeciras, all three suppliers are delayed between 6-18 hours. The port’s Alpha anchorage is especially congested and delays run up to 16-24 hours, MH Bland says.

Meanwhile, bunker operations are running normally in Ceuta. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive in Ceuta on Wednesday, and two were waiting to bunker there, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Co. A supplier in Ceuta was running 4-6 hours behind schedule for anchorage deliveries, MH Bland said.

Las Palmas’ outer anchorage has been shut to bunkering for two days this week and could remain closed also on Thursday. High swells and strong winds have complicated deliveries.

Bunker availability is tight for prompt dates off Malta, a source says. Suppliers have increasingly looked towards delivery dates next week for bookings.



Bunkering operations have been stopped at Algoa Bay due to bad weather. 11 vessels are scheduled to arrive this week at the port, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Some of these could be held up waiting if weather conditions remain rough. The weather is forecast to calm down from Saturday.

While bunker deliveries are threatened by unfavourable conditions in Algoa Bay, there are no major issues with bunker fuel supply volumes in either Algoa Bay or Durban. Prompt product is possible to book for delivery in both ports.

Bunkering is going ahead as normal in Mozambique’s Nacala and Maputo ports. Demand has picked up. Three vessels are scheduled to arrive to bunker in Nacala this week, and four in Maputo. That is up from a total of three vessels across the ports last week.  

By Erik Hoffmann


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 29 December, 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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