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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

ARA gasoil stocks rise on Asian and US inflows; bunkering resumes partly in Gibraltar; prompt supply tight in Nacala amid strong 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:

15 February 2023

  • ARA gasoil stocks rise on Asian and US inflows
  • Bunkering resumes partly in Gibraltar
  • Prompt supply tight in Nacala amid strong demand


Northwest Europe

Prompt supply of LSMGO is said to be tight in the ARA bunkering hub at the moment. The product has a recommended lead time of around four days in Rotterdam, a source says.

Lead times of 4-5 days are advised for VLSFO delivery in Rotterdam, while HSFO requires around 5-6 days. HSFO delivery prospects in the region are subject to enquiries, a source says.

The ARA’s independently held gasoil stocks - which include diesel and heating oil - have averaged 13% higher so far this month than in January. The region’s gasoil inventories have risen to their highest level in the past year and are slightly above their five-year average position for this time of year, according to Insights Global data.

The EU's ban on imports of refined Russian oil products kicked in with a hard deadline from 5 February and Vortexa has not picked up any gasoil cargo inflows from Russia so far this month.

Saudi Arabia has emerged as the top source for gasoil and diesel imports to the ARA, accounting for 28% of the region’s total this month, Vortexa data shows. In addition to Saudi Arabia, importers in the ARA have pulled large volumes of gasoil and diesel from far-away Indian ports (15% of total) so far this month, and China (14%), and smaller volumes from a range of other sources including Japan (9%), the US and South Korea (7%).

The ARA’s independent fuel oil stocks have averaged 2% lower so far this month than in January and have remained below their five-year average position for the year. No Russian fuel oil cargo imports to the ARA have been picked up by Vortexa since January. This indicates that Russian fuel oil imports were phased out in January, after making up 10% of the ARA's total in December.

In Germany’s Hamburg, prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is normal, while HSFO delivery prospects remain subject to enquiry, a source says.

Bunker fuel supply is normal-to-tight for prompt dates off Skaw, requiring lead times of up to seven days, a source says. Securing prompt delivery of HSFO can be difficult there, the source adds.



Bunker deliveries in most Gibraltar Strait ports will remain subject to weather conditions in the coming days as the weather is forecast to deteriorate through this week, sources say.

Bunkering resumed partly on Tuesday in Gibraltar and in the adjacent port of Algeciras. This has helped suppliers to clear some of their backlogs in the region, sources say.

Gibraltar's bunker backlog halved from 16 vessels on Tuesday morning to eight vessels on Wednesday morning, according to port agent MH Bland. A huge bunker backlog had built in port at the start of this week as bunkering was suspended since Thursday last week.

Suppliers in Gibraltar have been busy clearing their bunker backlog and are not offering new deliveries for prompt dates. One supplier in the region is not fixing new stems until the end of next week.

While the weather remains a concern in Gibraltar and Algeciras this week, several vessels have been diverted to receive bunkers at alternative locations. Alternative bunker locations in the wider Mediterranean region include Las Palmas, Tenerife, Sines, Lisbon, Kali Limenes and Piraeus.

Suppliers in Portuguese and Greek ports have seen an uptick in demand in recent days. Bunker-only calls have increased in the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines.

Demand has also picked up Las Palmas, where one supplier is completely booked for prompt deliveries. Bunker operations are running normally in Las Palmas. Strong winds and high swells are forecast to hit the port on Friday, which could complicate deliveries at its outer anchorage.

Bunkering has been limited in Malta this week, according to MH Bland. Only one in six bunkering areas off Malta are open for supply due to rough weather conditions. Suppliers in Malta are not taking any new offers. A jetty in Valletta has been damaged by rough weather and is expected to limit product loadings and bunkering in Valletta and in bunker locations off Malta for a week, according to sources.

Bunker operations have been suspended in Turkey’s Port of Iskenderun since Monday last week after a deadly earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, according to sources. Iskenderun's port infrastructure suffered a severe damage from the earthquake, which was followed by a major fire incident on 6 February.

It might take weeks or months for Iskenderun to resume bunkering and other port operations, a source says. Meanwhile, bunkering is progressing as normal in Istanbul, a source says.



Bunkering has been going ahead as normal in Algoa Bay this week amid conducive weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. There is forecast of favourable weather until Sunday morning.

15 vessels are scheduled to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay for the rest of the week, Rennies says.

Bunker fuel availability is said to be normal in Algoa Bay and normal-to-tight in Durban. Recommended lead times for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Durban are around seven days, a source says.

Meanwhile, supply of the two grades is currently tight in Mozambique’s Nacala port amid strong demand, a source says. Five vessels are expected to arrive for bunkers in Nacala this week.

Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Mozambique’s capital port city of Maputo. Five vessels are due to arrive for bunkers there this week.

Bunkering deliveries are going ahead as normal across the two ports in Mozambique.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 16 February, 2023

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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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