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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

HSFO supply tightens in the ARA; French refineries back in action after strikes; availability mostly normal in Gibraltar Strait.




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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:

12 April 2023

  • HSFO supply tightens in the ARA
  • French refineries back in action after strikes
  • Availability mostly normal in Gibraltar Strait


Northwest Europe

Fixing prompt stems of HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO can be difficult in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub, sources say. Recommended lead times for HSFO delivery in the region are around seven days, while LSMGO and VLSFO require around five days.

HSFO supply is tight in the ARA as both product and barge availability is under pressure there, a source says. Loading delays have been reported at oil terminals.

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks have averaged 3% higher at the beginning of this month than in March, according to Insights Global data.

In the absence of Russian inflows, ARA buyers pulled large volumes of fuel oil from the Middle East and some European countries in March, going by Vortexa cargo tracking data. The UK emerged as the top source for the ARA’s fuel oil imports in March, and accounted for 13% of the region’s total.

Meanwhile, the ARA's gasoil inventories have averaged 3% lower at the start of this month than in March. Saudi Arabia became the ARA's top gasoil import source in March and accounted for 31% of its total.

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. HSFO delivery remains subject to enquiries, the source adds.

In Germany’s Hamburg, VLSFO and LSMGO supply is said to be normal, requiring lead times of around 5-6 days, a source says.

TotalEnergies’ Gonfreville refinery in northern France started resuming operations on Tuesday as strike action by workers waned, according to a Reuters report. This is the last of TotalEnergies’ four domestic refineries to resume production after a month-long strike.

Workers across sectors in France protested the government's plans to reform the country's retirement system, which included raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.



Bunker fuels availability has improved across most ports in France, while it is still tight in Lavera and Marseille-Fos, a source says.

Fuel availability is said to be normal in Gibraltar, Ceuta and off Malta, sources say. One supplier in Gibraltar can offer deliveries of all fuel grades with lead times of around 4-5 days, a source says.

Supply of LSMGO is said to be normal in Algeciras, but securing prompt supply of VLSFO can be difficult there, a source says.

Bunker operations are running normally in most Gibraltar Strait ports, according to port agent MH Bland. Bunker deliveries were disrupted in Gibraltar, Algeciras and Ceuta last week due to rough weather.

No congestion was reported in Gibraltar, Ceuta and off Malta on Wednesday. 12 vessels were scheduled to arrive for bunkers in and off Malta on Wednesday, Seatrans Shipping agency says.

Bunkering was in progress in Las Palmas on Wednesday morning. But high swells are forecast to hit the port in periods from later on Wednesday through to Saturday, which could complicate deliveries at its outer anchorage, MH Bland says.



Supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in Durban and Algoa Bay. But securing prompt deliveries can be difficult and stems require lead times of up to seven days, a source says.

Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday morning after being suspended for a day due to adverse weather, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Weather conditions are forecast to remain conducive until Thursday evening. However, strong winds and swells are forecast to hit the bay in periods between Friday and Saturday, which could hamper bunker operations. Nine vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay over the course of the rest of the week, Rennies says.

Bunkering is going ahead as usual in Mozambique’s ports of Nacala and Maputo. Prompt supply of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal in both locations, a source says.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 13 April, 2023

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Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.






Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.






Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.


Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.





Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.


Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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