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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook

HSFO supply improves in Hamburg; availability normal in Gibraltar; LSMGO tight in South African ports.




RESIZED ENGINE Europe and Africa

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:

  • HSFO supply improves in Hamburg
  • Availability normal in Gibraltar
  • LSMGO tight in South African ports


Northwest Europe

HSFO availability is said to be normal in Rotterdam and in the wider ARA hub, two sources say. Lead times of 5-6 days are recommended for the grade, unchanged from last week. HSFO has become more widely available with some suppliers, compared to last month when availability was limited, a trader says.

However, some still think HSFO supply will remain tight for the rest of the year.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal in the ARA hub. Lead times of 4-6 days are recommended for VLSFO, and up to four days for LSMGO. Some traders say that prompt availability of LSMGO is tight in the ARA hub. A few suppliers that are offering the grade for very prompt delivery dates (0-2 days) are quoting with steep price premiums, a trader says.

Overall, demand for LSMGO has been slow in recent weeks, the trader adds.

Rotterdam’s LSMGO price swung to a discount of $35/mt to front-month ICE Gasoil futures on Wednesday, after trading at a rare premium of about $7/mt over the ICE Gasoil contract last week.

Meanwhile, ICE Gasoil is in steep backwardation, with $14/mt between the front- and second-month contracts. Its second-to-third month spread more than twice as wide at $31/mt on Wednesday. A backwardated forward structure is usually a sign of fewer incentives to store products.

In the German port of Hamburg, VLSFO and LSMGO availability is normal. Lead times of about five days are recommended for the grades. HSFO supply has improved a bit in the port, a source says.



All grades remain in normal availability across Gibraltar Strait ports. Lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for VLSFO and LSMGO in Gibraltar, and 4-6 days for HSFO. Several suppliers in Gibraltar and Ceuta are able to supply VLSFO and LSMGO on prompt delivery dates, a source says.

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

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is good in the Portuguese ports of Lisbon and Sines.

Securing VLSFO and LSMGO for very prompt dates off Malta can be slightly difficult. One supplier is unable to supply the grade for very prompt dates due to a tight schedule, while another can supply from 10 September. But rough weather conditions are forecast between Wednesday and Friday, which could disrupt bunker operations off Malta.

Other bunker delivery areas in the Mediterranean such as Piraeus and Istanbul have good availability of VLSFO and LSMGO, a source says.



LSMGO availability is “super tight” across the South African ports of Durban, Cape Town and Richards Bay, a source says. The grade is in tight supply in the region, partly because one major supplier is running low on stocks there. VLSFO availability is relatively better and lead times of up to seven days are still recommended for the grade.

Bunkering resumed in Algoa Bay on Wednesday after being suspended for a day due to rough weather conditions, according to Rennies Ships Agency. However, strong wind gusts and heavy swells are forecast to hit the bay over the weekend, which could trigger another suspension.

VLSFO and LSMGO availability is good in Mozambique’s Nacala and Maputo ports, a source says. HSFO is almost out of stock in Nacala. One supplier expects to receive a replenishment cargo after 15 September, which could ease some supply pressure there.

 By Nithin Chandran


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 7 September, 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.





RESIZED venti views

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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