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Interview: Hafnia shares IMO 2020 preparations, promotes transparency for bunkering operations

‘We support MFMs for bunker deliveries at Singapore and that goes for other tech as well; Hafnia is onboard any initiatives improving transparency in the bunker supply chain,’ says Bunker Manager.




KSO Photo v1

The following interview is part of pre-event coverage for the upcoming Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON) 2020, where Manifold Times is an official media partner:


Hafnia is one of the world’s leading oil product tanker owners and operators. The company provides transportation of oil and oil products to leading national and international oil companies, major chemical companies, as well as trading and utility companies. Hafnia operates a fleet of 178 vessels in pools and is a part of BW Group – an international shipping group that has worked in oil and gas transportation, floating gas infrastructure, environmental technologies and deep-water production for over 80 years.

Hafnia Bunker Services, which operates within Hafnia, purchases bunkers for part of the BW Group fleet; the company also acts as brokers for its pool partners and third-party members in order to enjoy synergies associated with economies of scale for its alliance members.

 Manifold Times recently spent time with Kasper Sørensen, Bunker Manager at Hafnia, who shared with the Singapore bunker publication how Hafnia prepared for IMO, as well as his thoughts and actions in the face of other events in the past year.

 MT: What did Hafnia do to prepare for IMO 2020, and how has that preparation paid off to date?

We formed an internal IMO 2020 committee years before the event in order to prepare for the technical side of the transition. This committee was responsible for considering whether to adopt a scrubber based approach for compliance. We didn’t choose the scrubber route for various reasons and have been happy with that decision.

Our IMO 2020 committee also discussed what kind of problems one can expect with the new types of marine fuels. So far, the preparation has proven to be useful and has helped deal with most of the issues that have come up.

On the commercial side of the transition preparation, we had to ensure our terms and conditions were up to the standards required of our typical bunker contracts. We decided to formalise our strong relationships by establishing partnerships with bunker suppliers, which meant more term contracts. We believe this commercial strategy makes sense for both bunker suppliers and ourselves.

Another difficult task was managing expectations of all stakeholders, both on and off-shore, while also ensuring we were not underestimating the impact of the transition in Q4 2019. We had expected this period to be a squeeze both in terms of product but also for barges.

We also spent a long time vetting counterparties to ensure they had the size and firepower to withstand hits even if the market went against them. It is all fine and well having a lucrative contract, but it doesn’t make much sense if they go bust two months after IMO 2020.

 MT: Do you feel there is any difference between bunker procurement pre and post-IMO 2020? In what ways?

On the technical side, bunker buyers are now required to have an even deeper knowledge of the supply chain. We now need to understand different product characteristics for bunkers that have emerged around the market with IMO 2020 in order to make fully informed decisions.

The product we get from various suppliers and markets are not uniform, creating many different challenges. There is now a lot of focus on fuel handling. As a result, we have introduced certain restrictions on how much fuel our vessels can carry of any one batch at a given time as part of our risk management practises.

Further, we now, more than ever, have to consider prioritising quality over fuel prices. Just making buying decisions based purely on prices no longer makes much sense, as now we must also consider other factors such as quality and availability of product. It isn’t much use if you have a very good price but cannot use the product.

 MT: Were there any unexpected events (e.g. Covid-19, etc.) which affected the bunker buying process in 2020? How did Hafnia overcome associated challenges?

Of course, the coronavirus (Covid-19) was a big curveball in 2020. In terms of the bunker side of things, we capitalised on us being both a strong and reliable counterpart that have also liaised with other strong and reliable counterparties.

As such, we have the luxury of being able to choose counterparts from the top shelf – to fit our profile. During the IMO 2020 transition, we were an attractive counterpart because of our strong financial status and name, which was further bolstered by our strong 2020 results.

 MT: Have the commodity trading mishaps in Singapore affected the way Hafnia purchases bunkers and operate as a bunker broker? How so?

The case of Hin Leong and the other commodity trading firms just emphasises the importance of knowing who you are dealing with and having proper K.Y.C. (know your customer) and general terms and conditions.

 MT: Thoughts on mass flow meters and the installation of MFM onboard Hafnia tankers to measure fuel delivered at other ports?

We do not have plans to install MFMs onboard our tankers to measure fuel received during bunker deliveries.

We buy bunkers for more than 450 ships. In terms of volume, this means we purchase about 2.5 million metric tonnes of marine fuels a year, including for our third-party members. Out of the total amount, we lift between 30% to 40% of marine fuel from the port of Singapore.

Singapore is the only place that mandates the use of MFMs for bunker deliveries. We are a strong supporter of this. We also encourage any other new technologies that improve the transparency in the supply chain.

 MT: What do you think is the next big thing that will happen in the Singapore or global bunkering sector?

We think there will be further consolidation on both sides of the table for bunker suppliers and buyers, and we are playing an active role in this via our Bunker Alliance.

We also expect more new fuels to materialise and, hopefully, more transparency through digitalisation efforts and other technology initiatives that improve the performance of the industry and its procedures.

As a company purchasing bunkers, we are keen to see and support any activity that promotes transparency in the industry.


Photo credit: Hafnia
Published: 2 October, 2020


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Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

The group including its inland and marine bunkering units PS Energy Pte Ltd and CNC Petroleum Pte Ltd has underwent rebranding and moved to JTC Summit.





Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

Last mile fuel distribution company PS Energy Group, including its inland and coastal and marine bunkering units, PS Energy Pte Ltd and CNC Petroleum Pte Ltd, has introduced a fresh brand identity learns Manifold Times.

The firm has unveiled its new company logos and branding that reflects its remarkable transformation as a company.

“Over the past few months, we have been working hard to create a new visual identity that truly captures the essence of who we are as a company which we hope will resonate, inspire trust, and build meaningful connections with our customers,” Sean Chua, Managing Director told Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times

“Our new logo embodies the core values and aspirations that have guided us throughout our journey, while incorporating elements that represent our vision and direction for the future. With its circular shape, the new logo depicts an entity in motion and embodies PS Energy Group’s agility, focus on innovation, and accessibility.”

The firm’s updated branding encompasses a comprehensive visual identity system that is now being integrated across all its assets and communication channels, including its inland and marine fleet, website, and social media platforms. 

Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

Besides the new brand identity, the Group has recently moved to a new and improved office space at the JTC Summit in Singapore. The firm said its team spent considerable time and effort in searching for the perfect location that aligned with its vision and values of providing the best service possible to its clients.

Singapore: PS Energy Group unveils new brand identity and moves to a new office

“The move represents a significant milestone in our company's journey and marks a new chapter of growth and opportunity. Our new office brings a host of exciting features and amenities that will undoubtedly elevate the overall experience for everyone involved,” according to Sean. 

“From spacious workstations and ergonomic furniture to cutting-edge technology and collaborative spaces, we have designed the new office with both functionality and comfort in mind. We believe that this new workspace will foster even greater creativity, productivity, and collaboration among our team members, enabling us to deliver exceptional results and exceed the expectations of our clients.”

PS Energy Group’s new address is as follows:

8 Jurong Town Hall Road
#24-01 The JTC Summit
Singapore 609434

Related: Interview: PS Energy Group gears up for 2023 with sustainable bunker fuel products and digital transformation
Related: CNC Petroleum provides alternative bunker fuel to coastal and marine market with MGO B20
Related: Singapore: PS Energy Group acquires ISCC cert for biodiesel products

Photo credit: PS Energy Group
Published: 4 October, 2023

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Malaysia: Straits Energy proposes to list oil bunkering and shipping segment on Nasdaq

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the firm announced its intention to spin-off its oil bunkering and shipping related services segment for listing on NASDAQ stock exchange via a public offering.





RESIZED Straits Energy office

Malaysia-listed Straits Energy Resources Berhad on Monday (2 October) announced the company’s intention to spin-off its oil bunkering and shipping related services segment for listing on NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States by way of a registered public offering.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the firm said it intends to undertake a reorganisation of some of its subsidiaries involved in the oil bunkering and shipping related services segment, for the purpose of forming a separate listing group or Spin-Off Group suitable for the listing on NASDAQ.

“It is envisaged that these subsidiaries to be comprised in the Spin-off Group will continue to remain as

subsidiaries of Straits upon the completion of the Proposed Listing,” the company said. 

Straits Energy added it will make a detailed announcement in relation to the proposed listing in due course, once the board of directors has finalised and approved the terms and structure of the exercise. 

It said the listing would enable the Spin-Off Group to gain recognition and corporate stature through the listing status of its own on NASDAQ.

The company added the listing would further enhance its corporate reputation and profile which will be conducive in expanding its customer base whilst allowing the Spin-Off Group to expand and establish its global presence. 

The proposed listing would also enable the Spin-Off Group to gain access to the capital market in the United States for capital raising and to provide the Spin-Off Group with financial flexibility for future expansion and growth.

It will also unlock shareholders' value in the oil bunkering and shipping related services and provide transparent valuation benchmark for the same on NASDAQ, it added. 

Manifold Times previously reported marine fuel logistics firm CBL International Limited (CBL International), an ultimate holding company of Banle International Group Ltd (BVI), a 38%-associate company of Straits Energy Resources Bhd announced it would be listed on Nasdaq. 

Later, Manifold Times did an exclusive interview with Banle Group who shared insights on the successful listing of CBL International Limited, its listing vehicle, on the Nasdaq Capital Market

Related: Malaysia: Straits Energy associate CBL International to be listed on Nasdaq
Related: Exclusive: Banle Group sets sights on expanding bunker supply network with successful IPO on Nasdaq

Photo credit: Straits Energy Resources Berhad
Published: 4 October, 2023

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VPS announces new appointments for key positions

Andrew Morton has been appointed to the role of Managing Director AMEA while Captain Rahul Choudhuri has been appointed to the newly created role of President Strategic Partnerships.





VPS announces new appointments for key positions

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (3 October) announced the appointment of Andrew Morton to the role of Managing Director AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa).

In this role, Andrew will apply his experience and knowledge to lead the delivery of VPS services to these important and growing regions. He joins VPS having spent the last 17 years working in the oil and gas industry, most recently with TotalEnergies in various positions and countries. 

These included technical, commercial, management, mergers and acquisitions and most recently the New Energies space, including renewable energy, biogas and fuels, hydrogen and LNG. He has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and started his career in research and development in the lubricants industry for Fuchs.

Dr. Malcolm Cooper, VPS CEO, stated “We are delighted to welcome Andrew on board as our MD AMEA. His background and experience will be helpful in supporting our customers in these important Regions, particularly in the rapidly developing decarbonisation space.”

Andrew Morton, said: “I am delighted to join VPS and the team and take over the role of Managing Director - Asia, Middle East and Africa. It is a privilege to join the global market leader and to manage a zone where the maritime industry is growing. I look forward to working with the various companies and associations across the industry to help them with their decarbonisation journey.”

VPS also announced that Captain Rahul Choudhuri has been appointed to the newly created role of President Strategic Partnerships. In this role, Rahul will use his network to enhance and further develop relationships with customers and operators from across the shipping ecosystem to help VPS support their decarbonisation journey.

Dr. Malcolm Cooper, VPS CEO, stated “Captain Rahul is well-known across the Maritime sector and he has been the figurehead for VPS Asia and the Middle East for many years. He has been instrumental in many developments within VPS and across the shipping industry, making significant contributions to developments through a wide range of Committees and organisations.”

“His new role will enable him to focus more on our external relationships, which are of growing importance as we aim to support the shipping sector on it’s decarbonisation journey. We in VPS are very proud of Rahul’s achievements to date and we know there will be more to come.”

Rahul, said: “I am looking forward to this new opportunity. This role will allow me to use my experience and close relationships to strengthen, build and develop the industry partnerships needed to deliver new decarbonisation solutions offered by VPS. My work with industry associations allows a greater professional engagement with stakeholders to take the industry forward in challenging times”.

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 4 October, 2023

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