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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.

 

Mediterranean

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.

 

Africa

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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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

Ammonia is touted as the long-term fuel solution, but safety concerns and novel technology could hinder its widespread application.

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SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

The article ‘All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges: panellists’ was first published on Issue 4 of the Singapore Maritime Week 2024 Show Dallies; it has been reproduced in its entirety on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times with permission from The Nutgraf and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore:

By Matthew Gan

Ammonia is emerging as the key net-zero fuel of the future, but the maritime industry faces several challenges in its large-scale adoption.

A critical concern is safety. Ammonia poses safety  risks because of the high volume of explosive engine combustions, and the gas’ toxicity.

“Safety is the most crucial thing – both environmental and operator safety,” said Mr Hiroki Kobayashi, Chief Executive Officer at heavy industries firm IHI Asia Pacific, at the Net-Zero Fuel Pathways Panel during the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference on Wednesday.

Given the focus on safety, a substantial proportion of resources should be spent on ensuring ammonia technology is safe, added Mr Nicolas Brabeck, Managing Director at energy provider MAN Energy Solutions Singapore.

What will help, noted Mr Kenneth Widell, Senior Project Manager (Smart Technology Hub) at marine and energy solutions provider Wartsila, is having stakeholders share information on safe ammonia usage.

Another challenge is training seafarers to use novel technology. But panellists agreed that it should not deter the industry from pursuing the widespread adoption of ammonia.

“All this is new to us, but we can start training early, collect feedback, and adjust accordingly,” said Mr Leonardo Sonzio, Vice-President and Head of Fleet Management and Technology at global shipping company Maersk.

Stakeholders should also collaborate more, said Mr Robert van Nielen, Vice-President (Growth) at liquid storage logistics provider Advario. “There are many things to set up – supply chains, logistics, safety protocols and training – but we need to transition. And if we want to make this change in time, we must work together,” he said.

As moderator Mr Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, Chief Executive Officer (Maritime) at registrar and classification society DNV, put it in his closing remarks: “The fuel of the future, really, is collaboration.”

Singapore Maritime Week 2024 was organised by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore from 15 to 19 April. 

 

Photo credit: Knut Orbeck-Nilssen / DNV
Article credit: The Nutgraf/ Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 24 April 2024

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LNG Bunkering

TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

LNG production from LNG liquefaction plant in port of Sohar, as part of Marsa project, is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended for LNG bunkering in the Gulf.

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TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

Energy company TotalEnergies and Oman National Oil Company on Monday (22 April) announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Marsa LNG plant project.

TotalEnergies had signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Oman LNG to offtake 0.8 Mtpa of LNG for ten years from 2025, making the company one of the main offtaker of Oman LNG's production.

Finally, TotalEnergies (49%) and OQ Alternative Energy (51%), the national renewable energy champion, have confirmed being at an advanced stage of discussions to jointly develop a portfolio of up to 800 MW, including the 300 MWp solar project that will supply Marsa LNG.

Through their joint company Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas (Marsa), TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%) launch the integrated Marsa LNG project which combines:

  • upstream gas production: 150 Mcf/d of natural gas, coming from the 33.19% interest held by Marsa in the Mabrouk North-East field on onshore Block 10, which will provide the required feedstock for the LNG plant. Block 10 production started in January 2023 and reached plateau in April 2024. The FID allows Marsa LNG to extend its rights in Block 10 until its term in 2050.
  • downstream gas liquefaction: a 1 Mt/y capacity LNG liquefaction plant will be built in the port of Sohar. The LNG production is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended to serve the marine fuel market (LNG bunkering) in the Gulf. LNG quantities not sold as bunker fuel will be off-taken by TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%).
  • renewable power generation: a dedicated 300 MWp PV solar plant will be built to cover 100% of the annual power consumption of the LNG plant, allowing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Marsa LNG plant will be 100% electrically driven and supplied with solar power, positioning the site as one of the lowest GHG emissions intensity LNG plants ever built worldwide, with a GHG intensity below 3 kg CO2e/boe. (for reference, the average emission intensity of LNG plants is around 35 kg CO2e/boe - this represents a reduction in emissions of more than 90%).

The main Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts have been awarded to Technip Energies for the LNG plant and to CB&I for the 165,000 m3 LNG tank.

The Marsa LNG project will generate long-term employment opportunities and significant socio-economic benefits for the city of Sohar and the region.

The first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

The ambition of the Marsa LNG project is to serve as the first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East, showcasing an available and competitive alternative marine fuel to reduce the shipping industry's emissions. 

“We are proud to open a new chapter in our history in the Sultanate of Oman with the launch of the Marsa LNG project, together with our partner OQ, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the country. We are especially pleased to deploy the two pillars of our transition strategy, LNG and renewables, and thus support the Sultanate on a new scale in the sustainable development of its energy resources”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

“This very innovative project illustrates our pioneer spirit and showcases the relevance of our integrated multi-energy strategy, with the ambition of being a responsible player in the energy transition. By paving the way for the next generation of very low emission LNG plants, Marsa LNG is contributing to making gas a long-term transition energy.”

 

Photo credit: TotalEnergies
Published: 24 April 2024

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Biofuel

Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% bio fuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements, says ABS.

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Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Carras (Hellas) S.A. received the ABS Biofuel-1 notation for its Aquataurus ultramax bulk carrier, the first vessel in the world to qualify, according to the classification society on Tuesday (23 April).

The notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% biofuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements.

ABS said biofuels’ suitability with existing power generation systems makes them a drop-in solution without the need for equipment retrofits or vessel redesign. 

The Aquataurus is equipped with a Wartsilla main engine and three auxiliary Yanmar engines and will serve trade routes worldwide.

“We are very proud to support Carras (Hellas) S.A. in their initiative to use biofuels as part of their sustainability strategy. Drop-in biofuels are a ‘here-now’ solution since they take advantage of existing fuel transport and bunkering infrastructure. ABS is well-positioned to use our deep industry knowledge of alternative fuels to support clients along their decarbonization journey,” said Stamatis Fradelos, ABS Vice President, Regulatory Affairs.

“Carras (Hellas) S.A. is pleased to be working with ABS to support our common goal of  reducing fleet emissions for the benefit of the environment. The use of biofuels allows shipowners to reduce their fleet carbon intensity without the cost of expensive retrofits or investments in newbuildings, and we are excited to be pioneers, together with ABS, of obtaining the assignment of the Biofuel-1 notation to Aquataurus,” said Captain Costas Liadis, President of Carras (Hellas) S.A.

 

Photo credit: ABS
Published: 24 April 2024

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