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Integr8 Fuels: Off spec issue with MGO equally likely to occur as with HSFO

In its Bunker Quality Trends Report Q3 2023, Integr8 highlighted that the industry is equally likely to face an off specification issue with MGO as with HSFO, with VLSFO being one third less likely.

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Integr8 Fuels, the bunker trading and brokerage arm of Navig8, on Tuesday (7 November) released its Bunker Quality Trends Report Q3 2023, analysing data from 120 million metric tons of supply, to reveal key trends relating to fuel quality and availability. An excerpt of the report is as follows:

Introduction: Challenges fueling change

As we come to the end of another year in the world of bunkers that seems to have passed with the blink of an eye, our minds shift towards the challenges on the horizon and how as an industry we need to embrace change to profit and succeed in the future.

This is the third Integr8 Fuels quality report covering the last six months of supplies globally where we again dissect and compare the likelihood of hidden losses and off specification issues across all commercial grades of bunkers and key ports.

Using ‘best in class’ available data from over 120 million metric tons (MT) of deliveries globally across 1,300 locations and from over 800 suppliers, we will also assess fuel quality trends using our own Integr8 Quality Index which scores the proximity (or otherwise) of individual parameters within each sample to the relevant table 1 or table 2 specification limits within ISO 8217.

Finally, given the context of the incoming changes we will consider some of the challenges that decarbonisation and verification of emissions will bring to the industry.

Screenshot 2023 11 15 at 2.11.57 PM

Part 1: Off specification frequencies

How likely are we to be faced with an off specification situation? 

In the last 180 days, owners’ analysis available to Integr8 Fuels has highlighted that you are equally likely to have an off specification issue with marine gas oil (MGO) as with high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) being one third less likely (see figure 1).

Screenshot 2023 11 15 at 2.12.08 PM

What is the likelihood of receiving noncompliant or critically off spec bunkers?

It is always important to consider the context of the off specification incidents.

To do this it is essential to consider the likelihood of MARPOL Annex VI (sulphur) or SOLAS (flash point) infractions and the likelihood of critical off specification incidents such as cat fines, total sediment potential, used lubricating oils, sodium and ash content (high risk) against routine and easily rectifiable off specification issues classified “low risk” such as a high viscosity in HSFO.

The rule of thumb when comparing off specification incidents by grade is that the parameters targeted in any blending model are the most likely to be outside the specification.

For example, VLSFOs are targeted on sulphur, with the price difference for 50,000MT of fuel with a sulphur content of 0.49 compared to 0.45 possibly equating to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that both VLSFO and MGO, both of which are blended to a sulphur target, have more prevalence of MARPOL Annex VI non-compliances at 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.

However, MARPOL Annex VI is not the only compliance issue - we cannot ignore the requirement for flash point being 60°C or above as demanded by SOLAS. Indeed, off specification flash point, particularly with LSMGO, may be an unintended consequence of pulling low sulphur automotive or inland grades into the bunker pool as identified later in this paper.

High risk off specification incidents, defined as the total of both compliance and high risk off specifications, are seen to be most prevalent in MGO followed by VLSFO and, finally, HSFO. In fact, if you strip out compliance off specification, incidents relating to total sediment potential (TSP), aluminium and silicon (Al+Si) etc. for residual grades are very low indeed.

That said, there are many nuances, from region to region, to port-to-port, and even supplier-to-supplier at the same location. It therefore remains essential to consider these when buying bunkers and we will address some of the challenges later in the paper.

Availability of products (September 2023)

Unsurprisingly, marine gas oil is the most available product (640 ports) given the ability to substitute and supply higher quality inland or automotive grades and logistical ease of supplying what are quite often small quantities.

VLSFO is also seen to be readily available across all continents but at 28% fewer ports (458

ports), this because of larger quantities being ordered and the storage and barge infrastructure to support these supplies in general.

High sulphur fuel oil is the only product which is not readily available, with only 231 ports listed as of September 2023 (see figure 2). HSFO availability is centered around bunkering hubs and geographically key areas likely to receive passing trade from VLCCs and / or other scrubber fitted sectors. It is important, therefore, to plan carefully for HSFO and consider the type of scrubber fitted to the vessel along with any local limitations in forthcoming voyages that may require a fuel switch to LSMGO, for example.

Screenshot 2023 11 15 at 2.12.20 PM

Biofuel blends

Data is now becoming available for tests of identified biofuels supplied globally and whilst this is still very small in comparison with conventional fuels, it is clear to see the apparent void stretching from Singapore to Europe currently present.

Moreover, we are not currently able to comment on the sustainability of the biofuels being supplied but  can confidently predict that Indonesia fuels, for example, will likely be sourced from palm oil and would not satisfy a verifier of emissions. ARA, and in particular Rotterdam, is seen to be the epicenter of supply in Europe given the current subsidies available in the Netherlands. VLSFO blends are almost exclusively limited to bunker hubs.

Screenshot 2023 11 15 at 2.12.29 PM

Which specifications are being traded?

Even as we eagerly anticipate the new version of ISO 8217 hopefully expected in early 2024, we continue to work in the past when it comes to the specifications we buy and sell on a day-to-day basis.

The scale of the challenge can be laid bare by considering the charts below, (figures 4 and 5), which identify the split of residual and distillate ISO 8217 grades traded by product group in the last 180 days.

Residual Fuels

Just over one quarter of trades are guaranteed to the latest version of the specification (2017) which is virtually unchanged compared to previous figures.

Distillate Fuels

In the case of MGO, only 18% of fuels traded were sold as 2017 fuels in the last 180 days, slightly less than previous. A very slight reduction in 2005 fuels was noted from 11% to 9%, however it is worth remembering that this specification is nearly 19 years old.

Screenshot 2023 11 15 at 2.12.42 PM

Note: The full report of Integr8 Fuels’ Bunker Quality Trends Report Q3 2023 can be found here.

Photo credit: Integr8 Fuels
Published: 15 November 2023

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Decarbonisation

SMW 2024: Maritime industry on track to adopt mid-term decarbonisation measures, says IMO chief

Safety, inclusion and transparency will be key areas for Mr Arsenio Dominguez’s tenure as Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization.

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SMW 2024: Maritime industry on track to adopt mid-term decarbonisation measures, says IMO chief

The article ‘Maritime industry on track to adopt mid-term decarbonisation measures: IMO chief’ was first published on Issue 1 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:

Toh Wen Li
[email protected]

The maritime industry is “on track” to roll out decarbonisation measures by 2025 as set out by the International Maritime Organization, said its new chief Arsenio Dominguez.

“We are on track to adopt mid-term measures by late 2025 to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to reach net zero targets,” said Mr Dominguez, who took over as IMO Secretary-General in January.

In 2023, the IMO released a revised GHG strategy to reach net-zero emissions from shipping by or around 2050 – far more ambitious than its 2018 initial GHG strategy, which aimed only to cut emissions by at least 50 per cent compared to 2008.

“These will help us progress towards achieving netzero GHG emissions by or around 2050, with indicative checkpoints to reach by 2030 (cut GHG emissions by at least 20 per cent, striving for 30 per cent), and 2040 (cut GHG emissions by at least 70 per cent, striving for 80 per cent).”

Mr Dominguez, who will be speaking on the opening day of the 18th edition of SMW, also emphasised the need to keep seafarers safe against the backdrop of heightened geopolitical tensions. He said the attacks on ships in the Red Sea have far-reaching economic implications.

“Prolonged disruptions in container shipping could lead to delayed deliveries, high costs, and inflation. Energy security and food security could potentially be affected due to increased prices,” he said.

“These attacks pose serious threats to global maritime security, as well as the security and maritime trade for the coastal states in the region,” he said, calling out the Red Sea attacks as “categorically unacceptable”. But he remains confident that the industry will continue to stay resilient. “I trust that shipping organisations and Member States alike will come together in the relevant IMO fora to seek collaboration and look for solutions together.”

Mr Dominguez also pledged to create a more inclusive IMO, one that is more gender-balanced in an industry that has long been dominated by men.

“I have appointed a gender balanced senior management team and initiated a policy of refraining from participating in panels or events unless gender representation is respected. I encourage the maritime community to follow this example,” he said.

He added that the IMO will also strive to fulfil its mandate as the world’s regulator for international shipping; support IMO’s 176 Member States, particularly Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries; raise public awareness of IMO’s impact; and adopt a “people-centred approach”.

“My vision is for IMO to flourish as a transparent, inclusive, and diverse institution,” he said. 

Singapore can ‘shine a light on the way forward’

Key maritime hubs like Singapore can play a key role as the industry pushes ahead in its quest to decarbonise, said International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Secretary-General, Mr Arsenio Dominguez.

“Singapore is (in) a great position to participate in trials and pilots to show what works, including routebased actions – and share results of any trials back to IMO,” he said.

The green transition poses a slew of fresh considerations for the maritime sector. A major bunkering hub such as Singapore will need to look at making changes to infrastructure to deliver new fuels.

Other considerations for the industry include safety, pricing, lifecycle emissions, supply chain constraints, barriers to adoption and more, added Mr Dominguez. Seafarers, too, will need to be trained in how to operate new technology safely.

“We need ‘early movers’ in the industry as well as forward-looking policy makers to take the necessary risks and secure the right investments that will stimulate long-term solutions for the sector,” he said.

Singapore Maritime Week is a chance for key stakeholders to “have the conversations and discussions that can formulate ideas and bring new solutions”, Mr Dominguez said.

Now, more than ever, collaboration will be crucial. “The experience of critical maritime hubs like Singapore can help shine a light on the way forward for many issues. Here the IMO can play a role in providing opportunities for Singapore and other maritime hubs to share their expertise with all Member States. Shipping is global – no single country can go it alone.” 

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

 

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Article credit: The Nutgraf/ Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 23 April, 2024

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MoU

IBIA and BIMCO to collaborate on bunker fuel and maritime challenges

Both will collaborate in areas including research initiatives, studies, and projects relevant to bunker or marine energy industry and maritime sector as well as training and education.

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IBIA and BIMCO to collaborate on bunker fuel and maritime challenges

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) and BIMCO on Monday (22 April) said they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on some of the monumental challenges and opportunities within the areas of bunker, marine energy and maritime sectors and help facilitate shipping’s decarbonisation efforts.

The parties have agreed to leverage their respective expertise and resources to develop innovative solutions and initiatives to facilitate the transition towards cleaner fuels and efficient and sustainable shipping practices. The partnership MOU will focus on addressing the following key areas:

Research and Development: Collaborate on research initiatives, studies, and projects relevant to the bunker/marine energy industry and maritime sector.

Information Sharing: Share relevant information, publications, and data that may be beneficial to the members of both organisations.

Training and Education: Explore opportunities for joint training programs, seminars, and educational initiatives to enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals in the maritime and bunker/marine energy industry.

Influence: Work together on efforts to address common issues and challenges faced by the industry.

Alexander Prokopakis, Executive Director of IBIA, said: “This partnership between IBIA and BIMCO marks an important step towards addressing the pressing challenge of decarbonisation in the shipping industry. The collaboration underscores the industry’s collective commitment to navigating towards a greener future for maritime operations.”

David Loosley, BIMCO Secretary General & CEO, said: “As we work towards the checkpoints and targets of the updated GHG strategy of the IMO, working across all sectors that influence and support decarbonisation of shipping will be key. Our ships will be relying on many different fuel solutions in the process and working toward the safety and availability of those is crucial.” 

IBIA and BIMCO are committed to driving progress towards a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future for the global shipping industry.

 

Photo credit: IBIA and BIMCO
Published: 23 April 2024

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Biofuel

Peninsula and NYK collaborate on B30 biofuel bunkering op in Zeebrugge

Peninsula barge “New York” delivered 1,200 mt of B30 bio bunker fuel to “Garnet Leader”, a NYK vehicle carrier on 24 March in Zeebrugge, Belgium.

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Peninsula and NYK collaborate on B30 biofuel bunkering op in Zeebrugge

Marine fuel supplier Peninsula on Monday (22 April) announced the successful conclusion of the first B30 biofuel supply deal in Zeebrugge, Belgium, in collaboration with the Japanese shipping company, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). 

The deal, which marks a significant milestone in sustainable fuel distribution, saw the delivery of 1,200 metric tonnes (mt) of B30. 

The delivery, executed on 24 March involved the vessel Garnet Leader, a NYK vehicle carrier. 

Peninsula's barge New York, played the role of ensuring the transportation and delivery of the biofuel to its destination in Zeebrugge.

Kaori Takahashi, General Manager of NYK’s Fuel Group, said: “NYK is proud to collaborate with Peninsula in this pioneering supply of B30 biofuel, which underscores our dedication to environmental sustainability and innovation in the maritime sector.”

“By leveraging sustainable biofuels like B30, we are taking meaningful strides towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“NYK remains dedicated to driving positive change within the industry while meeting the evolving demands of our customers and stakeholders.”

B30 biofuel, a blend comprising 30% ISCC EU certified sustainable UCOME, which is biofuel derived from Used Cooking Oil, offers a promising avenue reducing GHG emissions by 84%, thus mitigating the environmental impact of maritime operations. 

By using biofuel technology, Peninsula continues to pave the way for a greener future while simultaneously meeting the evolving needs of the shipping industry.

Peninsula's Head of Biofuels Desk, Nikolas Nikolaidis, said: "As the maritime industry, along with prominent players like NYK, intensifies their adoption of Sustainable Marine Fuels (SMF), the accessibility of such solutions grows in significance.”

“Peninsula is committed to collaborating closely with our established clients and partners to deliver SMF solutions where demand is highest.”

“Peninsula is broadening its biofuel supply network, positioning itself as the leading physical marine fuel supplier to offer comprehensive biofuel solutions across multiple regions and ports for our customers."

 

Photo credit: Peninsula and NYK
Published: 23 April 2024

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