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Interview: PS Energy Group gears up for 2023 with sustainable bunker fuel products and digital transformation

16 Feb 2023

In an exclusive interview with Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times, last mile fuel distribution company PS Energy Group recently shared its digitalisation milestones and triumphs of 2022, exciting plans in the pipeline for 2023, its challenges and how the firm overcame them. 

PS Energy Group also took the opportunity to reveal updates on the expansion of its barge fleet and new sustainable bunker fuel products through the firm’s subsidiary, coastal and marine bunkering business, CNC Petroleum.

MT: What company milestones have PS Energy and CNC Petroleum achieved in 2022 and why are these developments significant to the companies?

PS Energy Group has achieved several milestones in 2022. Our digitalisation efforts, with our cloud- based business platform, has been implemented from top to bottom, in both our inland arm, PS Energy and coastal and marine bunkering business, CNC Petroleum. It enabled us not just to sustain our business despite the difficult market conditions but to scale within and outside Singapore. It is integral to the company’s digital fuel distribution services by providing one convenient digital platform for our entire operations including sales, finance, order processing, fuel deliveries, supply tracking and management, and customer services.

Our exponential growth was recognised, with us being bestowed with the Enterprise 50 (E50) award last year, as well as our inclusion in the Top Fastest Growing Companies in 2023 by The Strait Times.

Other remarkable milestones include expanding our fuel offerings into sustainable fuel and the acquisition last year of an additional barge, CNC 5, further strengthening our footprint in the coastal bunkering segment in Singapore.

All these are significant milestones, and we expect them to support and sustain our growth trajectory in the coming years.

MT: How have these developments in 2022 led to the business direction for 2023?

Some of what we have accomplished last year are the fruits brought by executing our multiple-year growth plans started in 2019. Our business direction for this year is to continue executing all these, including our digital transformation, market expansion through strategic acquisitions and internationalisation, and expansion into sustainable fuels.

MT: What is the business direction, in regard to bunkering, for 2023 and why is this the planned route?

The same is happening in our bunkering business, where we continue to execute these growth plans. For example, we are planning to upgrade our 566 mt capacity Marine Dignity with a larger capacity barge to cater to the additional market demand. In terms of our digitalisation strategy, we are launching a marine bunkering app, to improve transparency and our customer service. We have also very recently expanded our sustainable bunker fuel offerings to the coastal and marine market with our MGO B7 and MGO B20 biodiesels.

MT: How long has the company taken to decide on the planned route? What are the challenges and solutions embarking on this path?

We have embarked in digitalising our business as far back as 2014 when we implemented an advanced delivery and management system (ADAMS). In 2019, we accelerated the growth of the company after completing our buyout from NSL. That year saw us joining the inaugural Enterprise Singapore (ESG) Scale-up Programme, which was instrumental for our multiple year growth plans. The steps we did in the last three years helped us counter the upheavals and very difficult market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented oil price volatility brought by the Russia-Ukraine war.

MT: Does the business environment in Singapore promote the path of PS Energy and CNC Petroleum and what are the contributing factors making it so?

The Singapore oil and gas sector is one of the largest in the world and it has a very established industry, ecosystem, and players. We are able to fill a gap in the industry value chain, specifically in the last mile fuel distribution. It was an area that wasn’t served well enough by the major players. That niche cleared the path for our business model. There’s opportunity to scale and the market demands innovation in fuel distribution including digital delivery services. Most recently, in line with the MPA circular to support the use of sustainable fuel in the industry, we have also started to offer sustainable bunker fuels through one of our floating kiosks, the first company in Singapore to do so.

Finally, the financial and continuous support of our anchor bank, UOB, as well as different Singapore government agencies such as the Enterprise Singapore has also helped tremendously in making our business thrive.

MT: In the area of your expertise, what is your bunker industry forecast for 2023?

Compared to the last three years, we see 2023 as a much better year for our business. As we focus more on last mile fuel distribution, we foresee the demand in this sector to be very stable this year. Uncertainties and volatility in the market will continue because of the Russia-Ukraine war and banks will continue to be cautious of the market. However, all these we are able to capitalise on, and actually highlights the advantages of our digitalisation 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: 16 February, 2023

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