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ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (8 May 2024)

HSFO tightness has eased in the ARA; rough weather may impact bunkering in Gibraltar; VLSFO supply has tightened in Nacala.




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 tightness has eased in the ARA
  • Rough weather may impact bunkering in Gibraltar
  • VLSFO supply has tightened in Nacala

Northwest Europe

Availability of all three grades is normal in Rotterdam and the wider ARA hub. HSFO supply tightness in Rotterdam has eased coming into this week, according to a trader. Lead times for HSFO have come down from last week's 4-6 days to 3-5 days now.

Lead times for LSMGO and VLSFO grades have remained unchanged since last week. While lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for LSMGO, VLSFO requires 4-5 days of lead time, according to a trader. 

The ARA’s independently held fuel oil stocks averaged 2% lower in April than across March, according to Insights Global data.

The region imported 252,000 b/d of fuel oil in April, slightly down from 254,000 b/d in March, according to data from cargo tracker Vortexa. 

The US emerged as the ARA’s biggest fuel oil import source in April, accounting for 16% of the region’s total imports. The UK ranked second, accounting for 12% of the region’s total imports, followed by France (11%), Mexico and Saudi Arabia (9% each).

The ARA hub’s independent gasoil inventories — which include diesel and heating oil — averaged 5% higher in April than in March. Gasoil stocks have risen to their highest levels since June last year. The region imported 358,000 b/d of gasoil in April, down from 373,000 b/d imported in March.

The German port of Hamburg has normal availability across all bunker grades. Some suppliers are able to offer prompt delivery dates for grades. A trader advises lead times of 3-5 days for all grades for maximum coverage from suppliers.

Bunker fuel availability has improved off Skaw, but securing prompt supply remains a challenge. Recommended lead times have come down from 10-14 days seen in the past week to 7-10 days now, a trader says. Weather disruptions could complicate bunker deliveries off Skaw on Thursday, a source said.


Availability is normal in Gibraltar, but rough weather conditions have pushed lead times further ahead. Lead times for all grades have increased from last week's 3-5 days to 4-6 days now. Wind gusts ranging between 16-28 knots are forecast to hit Gibraltar from Wednesday onwards, which could disrupt bunker operations until Saturday. Winds at the higher end of that range can pose problems for bunker deliveries by barges.

In the Canary Islands’ port of Las Palmas, availability is normal. All three bunker fuel grades are available for prompt delivery, according to a trader. Lead times of 3-5 days are recommended for all three grades in the port.

Bunker demand has been mostly steady in other Mediterranean ports, including Piraeus, Malta Offshore and Istanbul, a trader said.

Prompt availability is tight in the Greek port of Piraeus, with lead times of 3-4 days advised for all grades. Bunkering activity was mostly minimal during the weekend and on Monday due to the Orthodox Easter Holidays, a trader told ENGINE. Adverse weather is forecast to hit Piraeus between Thursday and Saturday, which may hamper bunkering in the area, according to a source.

Off Malta, availability is normal across all grades, but securing grades for very prompt delivery dates (0-2 days) can be difficult, a trader said. One trader advises lead times of 3-4 days for all grades in the port. The weather is forecast to remain rough until Saturday, which could impact bunkering there.

In Turkey’s Istanbul port, availability is slightly tight for prompt dates, and lead times of 3-4 days are advised for all grades, a trader said.

Vessel traffic was temporarily suspended in the Bosphorus Strait for both directions on Tuesday after a vessel ran aground earlier in the day. Istanbul's bunkering was unaffected due to the closure, with most local suppliers offering bunkers to ships in the port, a trader said. The Strait was opened to vessel traffic later that day after Turkey's Directorate General of Coastal Safety refloated the vessel.


VLSFO is available for non-prompt delivery dates in the South African ports of Durban and Richards Bay. Lead times of 7-10 days are recommended for the grade in these ports.

LSMGO availability is also available in Durban, with lead times of 7-10 days advised by a trader. Wind gusts of up to 29 knots on Wednesday and 35 knots on Saturday may impact bunkering in Durban.

VLSFO availability has been tight in Mozambique’s Nacala amid high demand for the grade in the port. In contrast, LSMGO availability is better, but demand for the grade has been low, a source told ENGINE. HSFO demand has been steady, and the grade is reported to be good in terms of availability in the port.

Maputo in Mozambique has good availability of both VLSFO and LSMGO, a source said. Demand has been steady for both grades in the port.

Offshore bunker operations have remained suspended in Algoa Bay since last September, when the South African Revenue Service (SARS) detained bunker barges due to import duty disputes. Since then, bunker supply has been limited to in-port deliveries by one supplier in Port Elizabeth, where supply is only available by truck.

By Manjula Nair


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 9 May 2024

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Singapore: EMA, MPA shortlist two consortia for ammonia power generation and bunkering

Chosen consortia are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, NYK Line and Sumitomo Corporation.





RESIZED bunker tanker singapore

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (25 July) said they have shortlisted two consortia that will proceed to the next round of evaluations of proposals to provide a low- or zero-carbon ammonia solution on Jurong Island for power generation and bunkering. 

The two consortia were selected from a total of six that were earlier shortlisted in 2023 to participate in a restricted Request for Proposal (RFP), following an Expression of Interest (EOI) called in 2022. The bids were assessed based on the technical, safety and commercial aspects of their proposals. 

The two consortium leads are Keppel’s Infrastructure Division and Sembcorp-SLNG, and the bunkering players in these consortia are Itochu Corporation, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Sumitomo Corporation. The two consortia will proceed to conduct engineering, safety and emergency response studies for the proposed Project.

At the next phase, we will select one of the two bidders as the lead developer of the project. The lead developer will develop the end-to-end ammonia solution comprising (i) generating 55 to 65 MW of electricity from imported low- or zero-carbon ammonia via direct combustion in a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine; and (ii) facilitating ammonia bunkering at a capacity of at least 0.1 million tons per annum (MTPA), starting with shore-to-ship bunkering followed by ship-to-ship bunkering. 

Given the nascency of the technology and global supply chains, the Government will work closely with the appointed lead developer to implement the Project. We aim to announce the lead developer by Q1 2025.

The project is part of Singapore’s National Hydrogen Strategy launched in 2022, which outlines Singapore’s approach to develop low-carbon hydrogen as a major decarbonisation pathway as part of the nation’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

A key thrust of this strategy is to experiment with the use of advanced hydrogen technologies that are on the cusp of commercial readiness. Ammonia is currently one of the most technologically-ready hydrogen carriers with an established international supply chain for industrial use.

“If successful, the project will position Singapore as one of the first countries in the world to deploy a direct ammonia combustion power plant and support the development of ammonia bunkering for international shipping, EMA and MPA said.

“This will help to unlock the potential of low-carbon ammonia as a low-carbon fuel.”


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 25 July 2024

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LNG Bunkering

China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

The 14,000 cubic metre ship, “Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang”, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) for Huaihe Energy Holding Group.





China: River-sea LNG bunkering vessel named and delivered in Shanghai

China’s river-to-sea LNG bunkering vessel, which was built locally, was named and delivered in Shanghai on Monday (19 July), according to the Shanghai Association of Shipbuilding Industry (SASIC). 

The 14,000 cubic metre (cbm) ship, Huaihe Nengyuan Qihang, was independently developed, designed and built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd for Huaihe Energy Holding Group as part of China’s "Gasification of the Yangtze River” project.

The ship is capable of travelling through the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge all year round and has been dubbed a “Customised Yangtze River” LNG refuelling and transportation ship.

The ship is equipped with the B-type LNG containment system independently developed by Hudong-Zhonghua and authorised by a national patent.

According to SASIC, this was the first time such a system has been applied to a domestic LNG  refuelling and transportation ship, marking a major breakthrough in the B-type LNG containment system developed by China with independent intellectual property rights.

Related: China’s first river-sea LNG bunkering ship completes inaugural bunkering operation

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.


Photo credit: Shanghai Shipbuilding Industry Association
Published: 25 July 2024

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Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

“Hafnia Nile” and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged “Ceres I” collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.





Singapore-flagged tanker “Hafnia Nile” to be moved to safe location for cargo transfer

Shipowner Hafnia, the operator of Singapore-flagged tanker Hafnia Nile, is in discussion with The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on a safe location to transfer the ship’s cargo, MPA said on Wednesday (24 July). 

They are also discussing towage plans for repairs to be approved by MPA.

Hafnia Nile and the Sao Tome and Principe-flagged Ceres I collided and caught fire about 55km northeast of Pedra Branca on 19 July.

“An additional tug with deep-sea towing capacity has arrived on site on 23 July 2024, joining four other tugs equipped with oil response and firefighting capabilities,” MPA said. 

In a meeting with MPA on 23 July, Hafnia informed MPA of light oil sheens near Hafnia Nile

“As part of the towage plan, Hafnia will arrange for repairs, containment and clean-up of the assessed localised seepage,” it added.

Reuters reported Hafnia stating that an initial assessment by a team of specialists conducting inspections of damaged areas of the tanker, showed Hafnia Nile's engine room had suffered damage from the fire.

Hafnia also reportedly said a salvage team has boarded the vessel and transferred equipment from one of the attending tugs on site to contain and stop any localised seepage.

Manifold Times previously reported Ceres 1 allegedly leaving the site of the collision as of 20 July and turned off its Automatic Identification System (AIS) but was believed to be in Malaysian waters.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was able to locate Ceres 1 some 28 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Tioman.

Related: “Ceres 1” goes dark after collision with Singapore-flagged tanker, located by MMEA
Related: MPA: Fire breaks out on two ships near Pedra Branca, search and rescue underway


Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 25 July 2024

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