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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

HSFO tight in major European bunker hubs; VLSFO supply improves in Ceuta; VLSFO availability tight in Nacala.




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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 July 2023

  • HSFO tight in major European bunker hubs
  • VLSFO supply improves in Ceuta
  • VLSFO availability tight in Nacala


Northwest Europe

Securing HSFO prompt stems in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub remains difficult, sources say. Some suppliers are hesitant to supply HSFO stems in large quantities.

VLSFO availability is said to be normal there, with some suppliers able to supply for prompt delivery dates, a trader says. Lead times of 5-7 days are recommended for HSFO and VLSFO.

LSMGO availability is normal for prompt delivery dates in Rotterdam, with lead times of 2-3 days recommended for the grade, a source says. But another trader says that LSMGO can be slightly difficult to secure for very prompt dates (0-2 days) in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub.

The ARA’s independent gasoil stocks have averaged 11% lower so far this month than across June, according to Insights Global data. The gasoil inventories have declined for a fourth consecutive week and are sharply down from recent peak levels of 18.59 million bbls seen in February, to 14.66 million bbls in the latest week.

ICE gasoil premiums have also narrowed sharply in recent months. Typical front-month ICE gasoil price premiums over Rotterdam’s delivered LSMGO grade have been erased, and ICE gasoil currently stands at a $6/mt discount. Its premium topped at $58/mt in March, but has since declined.

VLSFO and LSMGO supply remains normal for delivery off Skaw, a source says. Recommended lead times for both grades remain unchanged at 7-10 days. HSFO supply is relatively tighter there.

Bunker fuel availability is normal in the German ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven, with lead times of five days.



HSFO supply remains tight in Gibraltar Strait ports. A lead time of 5-7 days is generally recommended to ensure full coverage from suppliers in the region. VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal across Gibraltar, Algeciras and Ceuta, with lead times of 3-5 days recommended.

VLSFO has become more available in Ceuta after two suppliers received replenishment cargoes. On Tuesday, a total of 33,000 mt of VLSFO was discharged in the port, with 25,000 mt going to one supplier and 8,000 mt to another, according to the Port of Ceuta.

Minimum congestion was reported in Gibraltar, Algeciras and Ceuta on Wednesday, port agent MH Bland says. One supplier in Gibraltar and three in Algeciras were behind schedule.

Global bunker supplier Peninsula has started biofuel supply in Gibraltar Strait. It delivered a B24 stem to a chemical tanker in Gibraltar on 19 June. The B24 marine biofuel – is a blend of 24% used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) and 76% VLSFO. The biofuel was delivered using its recently acquired bunker delivery vessel Hercules Sky.

HSFO is very tight in Las Palmas and in the nearby port of Tenerife, a source says. Meanwhile, VLSFO and LSMGO grades are in more ample supply in both locations.

VLSFO and LSMGO remain in steady supply in the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines, a source says. Availability is also good for prompt supply off Malta, and in the Greek port of Piraeus.



VLSFO and LSMGO availability remains normal in the South African ports of Durban and Cape Town, and at the Algoa Bay anchorage by Port Elizabeth, where lead times of up to seven days are recommended, a source says.

VLSFO availability is tight in Mozambique’s Nacala port, with limited product availability until 28 July, a source says. Meanwhile, HSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in Nacala.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in Mozambique’s Maputo port.

By Nithin Chandran


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 13 July, 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.





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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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