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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

ARA replaces Russian with Saudi fuel oil imports; HSFO supply improves in Gibraltar; Mozambican ports mostly unscathed after cyclone hit.




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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 March, 2023

  • ARA replaces Russian with Saudi fuel oil imports
  • HSFO supply improves in Gibraltar
  • Mozambican ports mostly unscathed after cyclone hit


Northwest Europe

VLSFO and LSMGO delivery capacity is still under pressure with several suppliers in Rotterdam, a source says. Barge loading delays at oil terminals have held back delivery schedules. One supplier is Rotterdam waited at least two days to load a barge earlier this week, the source adds.

Recommended lead times for LSMGO delivery in Rotterdam are around three days, which is longer than usual, a source says. Lead times of around five days are advised for VLSFO deliveries in the ARA region, and up to six days for HSFO.

Meanwhile, the ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 9% higher so far this month than in February, according to Insights Global data.

In the absence of Russian inflows, Saudi Arabia has become the ARA’s top fuel oil import source this month, according to cargo tracker Vortexa. Fuel oil imports from Saudi Arabia have accounted for 35% of the region’s total. Other sources of fuel oil imports have been Lithuania (23%), Denmark (12%), Poland and Estonia (9% each).

The region’s gasoil inventories have averaged 1% higher so far this month than in February, supported by non-Russian inflows. Most of these import volumes have been sourced from Singapore (26%), Qatar (16%), the UK, Spain and Turkey (10% each).

In Germany’s Hamburg, supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal, requiring lead times of around 5-6 days, a source says. Delivery prospects for HSFO are subject to enquiries, the source adds.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO grades is normal-to-tight for delivery off Skaw, while HSFO supply remains tight there, a source says. Lead times of up to seven days are advised for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries.

In France, extended strike action by refinery workers has started to impact bunker supply to some ports, according to sources. Workers in France are protesting the government's plans to reform the country's retirement system, including raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Strikes by workers unions continued for an eighth day on Wednesday, and were fuelled further on Saturday after the French Senate voted in favour of President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform plan.

Securing bunker deliveries is currently difficult in the ports of Dunkirk and Le Havre on the French Atlantic Sea coast, a source says. Bunker supply in these ports is subject to delivery dates and quantities.



HSFO supply has improved from last week in Gibraltar, sources say. One supplier in Gibraltar can offer all fuel grades with lead times of around 3-4 days, a source says. That is down from recommended lead times of up to six days last week.

HSFO supply has also improved in Malta, while it is still tight for prompt dates in Las Palmas, a source says.

Bunker operations are running normally in Las Palmas, but heavy swells are forecast to hit the port on Friday, which could complicate deliveries.

A bit of congestion was reported in Gibraltar on Wednesday morning, when seven vessels were waiting to bunker, port agent MH Bland says. Some congestion was reported in Algeciras as well, while no backlog was reported in Ceuta and Malta, MH Bland says.

Bunker fuel availability is currently normal off Malta, a source says. Some suppliers can offer prompt deliveries of all the fuel grades.

VLSFO is still tight in the Greek port of Piraeus, while availability of HSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal there.

Prompt delivery schedules are under pressure in Barcelona, a source says One supplier is completely booked for prompt dates.



Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Durban and Algoa Bay, requiring lead times of up to seven days, sources say.

Strong winds and heavy swells are forecast to hit the bay between Wednesday and Friday. This could complicate deliveries and hold back some of the eight vessels scheduled to arrive for bunkers this week. Bunkering was in progress on Wednesday morning, with one vessel receiving fuel at anchorage, Rennies Ships Agency says.

Meanwhile, Cyclone Freddy hit central Mozambique on Sunday, but did not have any impact on bunker deliveries in Nacala and Maputo, a source says. Bunker operations are running smoothly across the two ports in Mozambique, where a total of five are due to arrive for bunkers this week, down from seven last week.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 16 March, 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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