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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

ARA fuel oil stocks grew with UK imports in March; rough weather disrupts Gibraltar Strait bunkering; availability normal in Durban and Algoa Bay.




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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:

5 April 2023 

  • ARA fuel oil stocks grew with UK imports in March
  • Rough weather disrupts Gibraltar Strait bunkering
  • Availability normal in Durban and Algoa Bay


Northwest Europe

Fixing prompt VLSFO and LSMGO stems can be difficult in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub as delivery capacity is still under pressure with several suppliers there, sources say. Recommended lead times for the two grades in Rotterdam are around 3-5 days.

HSFO availability is slightly better than last week in the region, but prompt supply remains subject to enquiries, sources say. Lead times of up to four days are advised for the grade.

In Belgium’s Ghent, prompt supply of LSMGO is said to be tight. Two suppliers have been running low on stocks this week, a source says.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks averaged 9% higher in March than in February as importers pulled large volumes from the UK and other places to substitute banned Russian product.

The UK emerged as the top source for the ARA’s fuel oil imports in March, going by the Vortexa data. Fuel oil imports from the UK accounted for 13% of the region’s total imports. Other sources of fuel oil imports were Saudi Arabia (12%), Poland (10%), Germany (9%) and Denmark (8%).

The ARA's gasoil inventories averaged nearly 1% lower in March than in February. France became the ARA's top gasoil import source in March and accounted for 27% of its total. Other sources of gasoil imports were the UK (20%), Brazil (8%), Norway (6%) and Spain (5%).

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be tight for prompt delivery off Skaw, requiring lead times of up to seven days, a source says. Delivery prospects for HSFO are subject to enquiries, the source adds.



Rough weather conditions have disrupted bunkering in key Gibraltar Strait ports this week. Strong winds and swells forced a bunker suspension in Gibraltar and at Algeciras’ outer anchorage on Wednesday, according to port agent MH Bland says.

Algeciras’ more sheltered inner anchorage was open for bunker operations on Wednesday “but with minimum inbound movements” of vessels, MH Bland says.

Bunkering was also suspended at anchorage in Ceuta, where four vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers on Wednesday.

The weather is forecast to remain bad in Algeciras, Ceuta and Gibraltar until Friday, which could cause bunker delays, depending on the intensity and direction of waves and swells.

Bunker deliveries have been suspended at Las Palmas’ outer anchorage since Tuesday. Deliveries at the port’s more sheltered inner anchorage have also been halted since Tuesday on instruction from the harbour master, MH Bland said.

While bunkering remains halted in Las Palmas, bunker calls could be diverted to the nearby port of Tenerife, where moderate weather conditions are expected this week.

Bunker fuels availability is said to be normal in Gibraltar, Algeciras and Ceuta, but deliveries will remain subject to weather conditions, sources say. Two suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates, a source says.

Meanwhile, continued spells of rough weather in Gibraltar Strait ports could divert more vessels to the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines for bunker-only calls. LSMGO and VLSFO availability is normal in Lisbon and Sines, a source says.

Fuel supply is also normal off Malta, but pressure on delivery barge schedules has tightened prompt availability, a source says.

Bunker supply of all grades is normal in the Greek port of Piraeus, a source says.



Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Durban and Algoa Bay. Lead times of up to seven days are advised for deliveries in these two locations, a source says.

However, supply of VLSFO is said to be tight in Cape Town, where securing deliveries for prompt dates can be difficult, a source says.

Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Tuesday after being suspended for a day due to bad weather, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Weather conditions are forecast to remain conducive until Friday morning. However, strong winds and swells are forecast to hit the bay in periods between Friday and Sunday, which could complicate deliveries there. Eight vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay this week, Rennies says.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and souce: ENGINE
Published: 6 April, 2023

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PIL vessel in bio bunker fuel trial transports containers with PSA Singapore

Containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel “Kota Ratna” and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.





PIL transports containers using bio bunker fuel in trial with PSA Singapore

PSA Singapore (PSA) and Pacific International Lines (PIL) on Wednesday (29 May) announced the completion of their first trial of low-carbon green shipments, in a joint effort to build a more sustainable end-to-end supply chain ecosystem.

This pilot trial is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in October last year between the two long-standing partners to collaborate on green and sustainability solutions to decarbonise supply chains. 

The pilot consists of warehouse-to-warehouse cargo flow from Singapore to Chongqing via the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. The containers, bound for Mitsui Chemicals Asia Pacific, Ltd’s beneficial cargo owner, were transported via PIL’s vessel Kota Ratna and PSA’s coastal terminal and rail nodes in Singapore, Qinzhou and Chongqing.

Green levers utilised in this pilot include the use of biofuel on Kota Ratna as well as landside supply chain optimisation by PSA.

The biofuel used for this trial, a blend of 24% used cooking oil with very low sulphur fuel oil, abated about 100 tonnes of carbon, equivalent to planting 4000 trees, and reduced the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 84.1%.

With first-hand data on carbon emissions obtained from this pilot trial, PIL will be better equipped to assess how it can further lower emissions from its vessel operations, not just for its existing ships but also for its eight new LNG dual-fuel container vessels that will be progressively delivered from end 2024.

The PSA Port Ecosystem Business Division leveraged container barging, a greener mode of transportation as compared to trucking, to haul cargo from PSA Jurong Island Terminal to Pasir Panjang Terminal for onward shipment towards Chongqing. 

In addition, the use of container handling equipment powered by electricity and greener alternative fuels at PSA’s ports reduced emissions in the port area.

The collaborative efforts by both partners across the end-to-end supply chain translated to planting one tree for every laden container moved across this value chain.

Philbert Chua, Managing Director, Container Division, PSA Corporation Ltd, said, “The successful completion of this green pilot project with PIL is an important step forward for the maritime and supply chain sector.”

“Combating climate change is one of our urgent priorities and PSA is committed to work with like-minded partners to put these words into action.”

“This concerted teamwork illustrates a step-by-step measurable approach to further decarbonise supply chains and has unlocked opportunities for accelerated action to achieve our net zero goal.”

Abhishek Chawla, Chief Marine Officer, PIL, said, “PIL is pleased to receive promising results from this low-carbon green shipments pilot trial with PSA.”

“With sustainability at the core of PIL’s operations, we are happy to join forces with PSA as we take concrete action to drive a sustainable future. The valuable insights obtained from this trial will empower PIL to further reduce our vessel emissions in the future, as part of our goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

“Working hand in hand with like-minded partners, we can augment each other’s sustainability efforts in creating greener shipping and providing a sustainable net zero model to our customers soon.”


Photo credit: PSA Singapore
Published: 30 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.





China: Chimbusco, Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology to conduct bio bunker fuel research

China Marine Bunker (Petro China) Co., Ltd. (Chimbusco) and Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. on Thursday (23 May) signed a strategic cooperation agreement to jointly carry out research on the application of marine biofuels and promote pilot projects on the application of biodiesel. 

Both parties will comprehensively promote the use of biodiesel in the bunker fuel market and contribute to green and low-carbon shipping.

Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. has long been committed to the research and development of comprehensive utilisation of natural oil resources, forming an oil resource recycling industry chain of "industrial oils-biofuels (biodiesel)-biobased materials". 

Qin Ling, secretary of the Party Committee and general manager of Chimbusco said with the implementation of increasingly stringent emissions laws and regulations, the company is actively responding to and adapting to domestic development needs. 

“Through strategic cooperation, the company is locking in the future demand for biofuels,” he said. 

Pingyuan, chairman of Suzhou Fengbei Biotechnology Co., Ltd. said that both firms will rely on their respective advantages and resources and seize new opportunities for carbon reduction in shipping. 

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.


Photo credit: Zhangjiagang Bonded Zone (Jingang sub-district) Party and Government Office
Published: 30 May 2024

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MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel “Shofu Maru” continuously on actual voyages and confirmed Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.





MOL to install wind propulsion system on seven newbuildings

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. on Monday (27 May) announced their intent to install wind propulsion systems on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk. 

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on a vessel Shofu Maru continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

The fuel saving and GHG reduction effect of the Wind Challenger depends on various conditions such as the type of vessel and the shipping route.

MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11.

Among the seven vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, six new bulk carriers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger. Construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for three of the six vessels, and preparations are under way for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

In addition, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two Ventfoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch firm EconoWind B.V., on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery 2025 and operation under a time charter.

MOL has established the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2" and has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. One of the key strategies to achieve this target includes the "introduction of clean energy, further energy-saving technologies," and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.


Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 30 May 2024

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