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IBIA: Changes afoot

Increased willingness at latest IMO ISWG-GHG sessions to develop fuel lifecycle assessment guidelines that account for well to wake GHG emissions, says IBIA director.




Unni MT

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Friday (10 June) published an article by IBIA director, Unni Einemo, who writes about the growing appetite towards maritime decarbonisation and the introduction of a GHG fuel standard, amongst others:

Is there appetite for change in the marine fuels and shipping industry? There are signs that there is.

The IBIA Board of Directors and Secretariat has seen a number of changes recently. Since the last issue of World Bunkering, Henrik Zederkof’s allotted time as our Chair has come to an end. He showed exceptional drive and commitment to the focus areas he outlined for IBIA in 2020. We are lucky to have another driven individual step into the role; Timothy Cosulich, who became the Chair on 1 April this year. In his first Chair’s Letter for World Bunkering, he sets out the Association’s goals for the year ahead.

Work set in motion two years ago continues. We have set up two out of five planned Regional Boards, one for Asia and one for Africa. This allow issues specific to each region to be more thoroughly examined. Also continuing is a focus on decarbonisation, to ensure our industry understands what’s coming and plays a part in necessary changes. Our work on bunker licensing and Mass Flow Meters also continues. A new area of focus outlined by Timothy is integrity, with an initial task to update and strengthen the IBIA Code of Ethics.

Some of these areas are underpinned by the desire for improving transparency in our sector. But what exactly does ‘transparency’ mean? I think it is about building an environment where stakeholders feel comfortable and confident in their dealings with each other. Confidence that they are treated fairly. It means putting in place mechanisms that help build trust, where good practices are rewarded and bad practices are penalised.

Our Licensing and MFM Working Group have just completed analysis of a joint IBIA and BIMCO survey into industry experiences and attitudes. You can read about the key findings in this issue. Two things stand out to me: The percentage of deliveries associated with disputes about quantity (1.61%) and quality (0.98%) was relatively low, yet a clear majority of respondents were in favour of bunker licensing programmes and MFMs as tools to improve transparency and trust in the bunker supply industry. Respondents included a large share of traders and suppliers, over half of the total, so it isn’t just bunker buyers that want this.

When it comes to decarbonisation, I am also witnessing growing appetite for taking steps to get this major transition underway, both in the industry and among Member States at the IMO. The latest IMO intersessional working groups on greenhouse gases (ISWG-GHG) have signalled increasing willingness to develop fuel lifecycle assessment (LCA) guidelines that will take well to wake GHG emissions into account as a basis for new regulatory moves to cut shipping’s GHG emissions. At the moment, regulations account only for tank to wake emissions. I am also seeing agreement emerging that the IMO must put a price on CO2 or CO2 equivalents, though exactly how this will be done still needs to be worked out. And there is growing support for introducing a GHG fuel standard to gradually increase the share of low carbon or renewable fuels used by shipping; which I believe is a crucial regulatory signal to ensure that there will be demand for such fuels even if the price is high.

There is even willingness among shipping organisations and IMO Member States to push for a net-zero GHG target by 2050, when the IMO revises its GHG strategy in 2023. This is a huge commitment compared to the 50% reduction agreed in the initial strategy in 2018.

We all know that stakeholders need to work together to help us reach GHG reduction goals. To that effect, IBIA has recently signed a Coalition partner contract with the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), and we hope this partnership will be a positive way of ensuring we’re all pulling (or pushing) in the same direction without too much duplication of effort.

I mentioned changes in the IBIA Secretariat. The Regional Manager for IBIA Asia, Alex Tang, left us in April to take up a new position with Intertek Lintec. At the end of April, Noraini Binte Salim left her position as Office Manager for IBIA Asia for family reasons. We are grateful to both for their hard work and dedication to IBIA. As this issue goes to print, we are in the process of recruiting their replacements and look forward to welcoming them to the team.


Photo credit and source: International Bunker Industry Association
Published: 13 June, 2022

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

Ammonia is touted as the long-term fuel solution, but safety concerns and novel technology could hinder its widespread application.





SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

The article ‘All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges: panellists’ was first published on Issue 4 of the Singapore Maritime Week 2024 Show Dallies; it has been reproduced in its entirety on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times with permission from The Nutgraf and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore:

By Matthew Gan

Ammonia is emerging as the key net-zero fuel of the future, but the maritime industry faces several challenges in its large-scale adoption.

A critical concern is safety. Ammonia poses safety  risks because of the high volume of explosive engine combustions, and the gas’ toxicity.

“Safety is the most crucial thing – both environmental and operator safety,” said Mr Hiroki Kobayashi, Chief Executive Officer at heavy industries firm IHI Asia Pacific, at the Net-Zero Fuel Pathways Panel during the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference on Wednesday.

Given the focus on safety, a substantial proportion of resources should be spent on ensuring ammonia technology is safe, added Mr Nicolas Brabeck, Managing Director at energy provider MAN Energy Solutions Singapore.

What will help, noted Mr Kenneth Widell, Senior Project Manager (Smart Technology Hub) at marine and energy solutions provider Wartsila, is having stakeholders share information on safe ammonia usage.

Another challenge is training seafarers to use novel technology. But panellists agreed that it should not deter the industry from pursuing the widespread adoption of ammonia.

“All this is new to us, but we can start training early, collect feedback, and adjust accordingly,” said Mr Leonardo Sonzio, Vice-President and Head of Fleet Management and Technology at global shipping company Maersk.

Stakeholders should also collaborate more, said Mr Robert van Nielen, Vice-President (Growth) at liquid storage logistics provider Advario. “There are many things to set up – supply chains, logistics, safety protocols and training – but we need to transition. And if we want to make this change in time, we must work together,” he said.

As moderator Mr Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, Chief Executive Officer (Maritime) at registrar and classification society DNV, put it in his closing remarks: “The fuel of the future, really, is collaboration.”

Singapore Maritime Week 2024 was organised by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore from 15 to 19 April. 


Photo credit: Knut Orbeck-Nilssen / DNV
Article credit: The Nutgraf/ Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 24 April 2024

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LNG Bunkering

TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

LNG production from LNG liquefaction plant in port of Sohar, as part of Marsa project, is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended for LNG bunkering in the Gulf.





TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

Energy company TotalEnergies and Oman National Oil Company on Monday (22 April) announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Marsa LNG plant project.

TotalEnergies had signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Oman LNG to offtake 0.8 Mtpa of LNG for ten years from 2025, making the company one of the main offtaker of Oman LNG's production.

Finally, TotalEnergies (49%) and OQ Alternative Energy (51%), the national renewable energy champion, have confirmed being at an advanced stage of discussions to jointly develop a portfolio of up to 800 MW, including the 300 MWp solar project that will supply Marsa LNG.

Through their joint company Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas (Marsa), TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%) launch the integrated Marsa LNG project which combines:

  • upstream gas production: 150 Mcf/d of natural gas, coming from the 33.19% interest held by Marsa in the Mabrouk North-East field on onshore Block 10, which will provide the required feedstock for the LNG plant. Block 10 production started in January 2023 and reached plateau in April 2024. The FID allows Marsa LNG to extend its rights in Block 10 until its term in 2050.
  • downstream gas liquefaction: a 1 Mt/y capacity LNG liquefaction plant will be built in the port of Sohar. The LNG production is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended to serve the marine fuel market (LNG bunkering) in the Gulf. LNG quantities not sold as bunker fuel will be off-taken by TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%).
  • renewable power generation: a dedicated 300 MWp PV solar plant will be built to cover 100% of the annual power consumption of the LNG plant, allowing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Marsa LNG plant will be 100% electrically driven and supplied with solar power, positioning the site as one of the lowest GHG emissions intensity LNG plants ever built worldwide, with a GHG intensity below 3 kg CO2e/boe. (for reference, the average emission intensity of LNG plants is around 35 kg CO2e/boe - this represents a reduction in emissions of more than 90%).

The main Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts have been awarded to Technip Energies for the LNG plant and to CB&I for the 165,000 m3 LNG tank.

The Marsa LNG project will generate long-term employment opportunities and significant socio-economic benefits for the city of Sohar and the region.

The first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

The ambition of the Marsa LNG project is to serve as the first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East, showcasing an available and competitive alternative marine fuel to reduce the shipping industry's emissions. 

“We are proud to open a new chapter in our history in the Sultanate of Oman with the launch of the Marsa LNG project, together with our partner OQ, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the country. We are especially pleased to deploy the two pillars of our transition strategy, LNG and renewables, and thus support the Sultanate on a new scale in the sustainable development of its energy resources”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

“This very innovative project illustrates our pioneer spirit and showcases the relevance of our integrated multi-energy strategy, with the ambition of being a responsible player in the energy transition. By paving the way for the next generation of very low emission LNG plants, Marsa LNG is contributing to making gas a long-term transition energy.”


Photo credit: TotalEnergies
Published: 24 April 2024

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Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% bio fuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements, says ABS.





Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Carras (Hellas) S.A. received the ABS Biofuel-1 notation for its Aquataurus ultramax bulk carrier, the first vessel in the world to qualify, according to the classification society on Tuesday (23 April).

The notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% biofuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements.

ABS said biofuels’ suitability with existing power generation systems makes them a drop-in solution without the need for equipment retrofits or vessel redesign. 

The Aquataurus is equipped with a Wartsilla main engine and three auxiliary Yanmar engines and will serve trade routes worldwide.

“We are very proud to support Carras (Hellas) S.A. in their initiative to use biofuels as part of their sustainability strategy. Drop-in biofuels are a ‘here-now’ solution since they take advantage of existing fuel transport and bunkering infrastructure. ABS is well-positioned to use our deep industry knowledge of alternative fuels to support clients along their decarbonization journey,” said Stamatis Fradelos, ABS Vice President, Regulatory Affairs.

“Carras (Hellas) S.A. is pleased to be working with ABS to support our common goal of  reducing fleet emissions for the benefit of the environment. The use of biofuels allows shipowners to reduce their fleet carbon intensity without the cost of expensive retrofits or investments in newbuildings, and we are excited to be pioneers, together with ABS, of obtaining the assignment of the Biofuel-1 notation to Aquataurus,” said Captain Costas Liadis, President of Carras (Hellas) S.A.


Photo credit: ABS
Published: 24 April 2024

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