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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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Poland: ORLEN to strengthen position in bunker fuels sector with new oil terminal

With the terminal’s commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports with conventional marine fuels and biofuels.





ORLEN oil terminals

Polish multinational oil refiner ORLEN Group on Wednesday (12 June) said it is solidifying its presence in the marine fuels market with the construction of a new oil terminal that is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2025.

Construction of the Martwa Wisła terminal, located on the Martwa Wisła river, has already exceeded 70%.

The Martwa Wisła terminal will enhance the logistics capabilities of the Gdańsk refinery, allowing for the transshipment of approximately 2 million tonnes of fuel products annually.

The first four loading arms have already arrived at the construction site and the remaining four loading arms are slated for delivery by the end of June. The devices, with a throughput capacity of up to 500m³/h, will be used at transshipment points to load tankers.

With the terminal's commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) with conventional fuels and biofuels.

For over 20 years, the Group has been supplying quality marine fuels to all Polish seaports. Its refinery product portfolio encompasses a wide range of fuels that guarantee quality and strict compliance with regulations, including MGO (DMA 0.1%S), ULSFO (RMD80 0.1% S) and LNG, which will in the near future be complemented with ‘green’ alternatives.

All marine fuels offered by ORLEN comply with the international ISO 8217:2017 standard and meet the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.


Photo credit: ORLEN Group
Published: 14 June 2024

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Australia: Crew of bunker tanker “Champion 63” to strike following employer’s refusal to negotiate

‘BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low,’ states MUA spokesman.





Champion 63

The crew of Champion 63, a 2022-built Australia-registered bunker tanker with home port of Brisbane, is set to go on strike after bargaining for a new enterprise agreement has stalled, stated the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on Wednesday (12 June).

Members of the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and MUA voted up protected industrial action on 11 June 2024.

The crews have been trying to formalise their employment conditions with ASP Ship Management since the bunkering operations commenced in February 2023. It took ASP approximately six months to issue the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) and start bargaining.

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“The crew of the new bunker barge on the Brisbane River and the maritime unions bent over backwards to make this vessel work,” said MUA Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Gallagher.

“Including low wages, excessive hours and a roster that does not allow crew to take leave. 18 months down the track when it comes time for BP to reward their crew and pay industry standards what do they do? They deny them fair wages, a workable roster and threaten their back pay!”

The AMOU filed a bargaining dispute after ASP refused to take their claim for a roster that does not demand that crews work every weekend seriously.

“Having to work every weekend because ASP does not have suitable relief arrangements is unacceptable,” said AMOU Industrial Officer Tracey Ellis.

“Crews have a right to be rostered time off to spend with their family. Waiting for ASP to fix the issue did not work, filing a Bargaining Dispute in the Fair Work Commission did not work, so the crews will take protected industrial action until their concerns are taken seriously.”

The crews onboard the Champion 63 voted up an unlimited number of stoppages of work of between one hour and 48 hours.

Gallagher added that, “the Maritime unions will not tolerate the big multinational fuel barons of this world undermining the Australian maritime wages and conditions of seven local mariners who are trying their best to support our own local shipping and Cruise Ship industry. If your cruise holiday gets delayed it is because, after recording over $40 billion profit in last two years, BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low.”


Photo credit: Maritime Union of Australia
Published: 13 June 2024


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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.





Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (, which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website ( to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”


Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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