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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

VLSFO and HSFO supply remains tight in the ARA; fixing prompt HSFO stems difficult in Gibraltar; bunker supply normal across South African ports.




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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:

10 May, 2023

  • VLSFO and HSFO supply remains tight in the ARA
  • Fixing prompt HSFO stems difficult in Gibraltar
  • Bunker supply normal across South African ports


Northwest Europe

Securing prompt deliveries of VLSFO and HSFO can be difficult in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub, partly because of product tightness at refineries, a source says. Lead times of 6-7 days are advised for good coverage from suppliers, the source adds.

Shell’s Pernis refinery near Rotterdam is undergoing a scheduled three-month maintenance, which is set to be completed by the end of this month.

Availability of LSMGO is said to be better than other grades in the ARA, with recommended lead times at a shorter 3-5 days, sources say.

Independently held gasoil stocks in the ARA averaged slightly higher in the first week of May than across April.

India became the ARA’s top gasoil import source in April. Gasoil imports from India accounted for 22% of the region’s total last month, up from 13% in March, according to cargo tracker Vortexa.

Other gasoil import sources for the ARA were Saudi Arabia (20%), Qatar (8%), Germany (7%) and Italy (6%).

Bunker fuels availability is said to be tight for prompt dates in Flushing, while VLSFO delivery is subject to enquiry in the UK’s Pembroke port.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal for prompt delivery off Skaw, a source says. But delivery prospects for HSFO are subject to enquiries, the source adds.

In Germany’s Hamburg, supply of VLSFO, HSFO and LSMGO is said to be normal. Lead times of around 5-6 days are recommended for all fuel grades, a source says.

VLSFO and HSFO deliveries are subject to enquiries in Bremerhaven.



Supply of most bunker fuel grades is said to be normal in Gibraltar, but fixing prompt stems of HSFO can be slightly difficult there, sources say. One supplier in Gibraltar is fully booked for prompt dates.

Lead times of 3-5 days are advised for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries in Gibraltar, while HSFO can require a longer period of 5-7 days.

Minimal congestion was reported in Gibraltar and Algeciras on Wednesday, according to MH Bland. Three suppliers in Algeciras were behind schedule on Wednesday morning.

Prompt supply of VLSFO is said to be normal in Algeciras and Ceuta, a source says.

Bunker operations were progressing normally in Ceuta on Wednesday, where three vessels were due to arrive for bunkers throughout the day, according to shipping agent Jose Salama & Co.

Some ports in the Gibraltar Strait are forecast to experience bad weather conditions this week, which could delay bunker deliveries.

HSFO is tight for prompt dates in Portugal’s Lisbon, a source says.

Bunkering has been suspended at Las Palmas’ outer anchorage since Monday due to rough weather conditions, according to port agent MH Bland. Strong winds and swells of 2.3 metres hit the port on Wednesday morning. The weather is forecast to remain bad until Saturday, which could cause more delays and disruptions. Meanwhile, bunker deliveries will remain available via ex-pipe at berth or by barge at the port's inner anchorage, MH Bland says.

Strong winds are also forecast to hit the nearby port of Tenerife this week, which could complicate deliveries there.

Bunker fuel supply across all grades is said to be normal in Malta. Some suppliers can offer deliveries for prompt dates off Malta, a source says. However, offshore Malta is forecast to experience rough weather over the weekend, which could cause delays.

Availability of all bunker fuel grades is also normal in Greece’s Piraeus port, a source says.



Bunker fuels supply is said to be normal in Durban, Algoa Bay and other South African ports, sources say. But fixing prompt stems for VLSFO and LSMGO can be difficult in Durban and Algoa Bay, where lead times of up to seven days are recommended, a source says.

Bunkering is progressing normally in Algoa Bay, according to Rennies Ships Agency. Strong winds and high swells are forecast to hit the bay in periods between Thursday and Sunday, which could complicate deliveries. 15 vessels are due to arrive for bunkers in Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay over the course of the rest of the week, Rennies says.

By Shilpa Sharma


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 11 May, 2023

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Fuel Testing

Singapore: CTI-Maritec shares testing protocols ahead of mandatory enhanced bunker fuel checks

In light of mandatory enhanced checks for marine fuel delivered at Singapore port coming into effect on 1 June, CTI-Maritec shares recommendations for fuel testing protocols, primarily focused at COCs and SAN detection for bunker supply in Singapore.





Louis Reed from Unsplash

With mandatory enhanced checks for marine fuel delivered at Singapore port coming into effect on 1 June, bunker fuel testing and marine surveying business Maritec Pte Ltd (CTI-Maritec) has published a newsletter providing recommendations on vital pre-emptive fuel testing measures vessels should be taking as part of their routine fuel testing and also recommendations on optimal testing options available when deep-dive analysis is required to determine a root cause: 


On 8 February 2024 the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued a Port Marine Circular No 3 of 2024 regarding the implementation of enhanced testing parameters for marine fuel batches intended to be delivered as bunkers in the Port of Singapore in addition to the existing quality assurance measures.

In accordance with the MPA’s Port Marine Circular No 3 of 2024, from 1 June 2024 onwards, bunker suppliers in the Port of Singapore must ensure that:

  • Residual & Bio-residual bunker fuel do not contain Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC) above 50mg/kg and are free from inorganic acids.
  • COC must be tested using the EN 14077 accredited test method and shall be reported in the “Certificate of Quality” (COQ) provided to receiving vessels.
  • Inorganic acids must use the ASTM D664 accredited test method as prescribed in ISO 8217 and the Strong Acid Number (SAN) (in addition to the Total Acid Number (TAN) shall be reported in the COQ (i.e. SAN = 0) provided to receiving vessels. For distillate / bio-distillate bunker marine fuel batches, SAN must be tested as per ASTM D664 test method and reported in the COQ.
  • Residual marine fuels are free from polystyrene, polypropylene & polymethacrylate. These can be tested by filtration, microscopic examination, & Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy analysis.

Testing Recommendations in line with MPA Enhanced Parameters to Protect Your Vessels:

In view of the above, CTI-Maritec recommends fuel testing protocols as depicted in the chart below (as routine pre-emptive measures and/or for deep dive requirements to detect the root cause) to help safeguard vessel health.

Our recommendations are primarily focused at COCs and SAN detection for bunker supply in Singapore, while recommendations for testing Polymers are advised for requirements of reported problem cases or when highly abnormal GCMS findings of chemical compounds like Styrene, DCPD and Indene are detected.

COC & SAN GCMS testing Packages A to E

Related: Singapore: CTI-Maritec publishes whitepaper on upcoming mandatory enhanced bunker fuel tests
Related: Singapore: Marine fuel quality testing agencies applaud move for mandatory enhanced bunker fuel tests
Related: Singapore: MPA tightens testing parameters to reduce contaminated bunker fuels
Related: MPA: Glencore and PetroChina supplied contaminated bunkers to about 200 ships in the Port of Singapore


Photo credit: Louis Reed from Unsplash
Published: 29 May 2024

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.





VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China


Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.





Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor


Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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