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Local suppliers question Aegean Marine Petroleum’s exit of Singapore physical market

Representatives of Total Marine Fuels and Fratelli Cosulich share their thoughts of the development with Manifold Times.

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The logic behind a recent move by Aegean Marine Petroleum Network (Aegean) to exit the physical bunker supply market at Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, has cast doubt on several local bunker suppliers.

‘The bunkering market in general, and the Singapore market in particular, are extremely competitive,’ said Jonathan McIlroy, President of Aegean, in a press statement on 31 October.

‘We had hoped that enforcement of mandatory mass flow meter (MFM)-equipped bunker barging in January would have driven commercial improvement in the Singapore market allowing Aegean to compete profitably.

‘However, 2017 has seen heightened commercial pressures in Singapore, and as a result, management has determined that Aegean's resources can be more profitably deployed elsewhere.’

Frederic Vazzoler, the General Sales & Development Director at Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS), believes MFMs bring about transparency and other benefits to the Singapore market.

‘Commercial pressure in Singapore? I do not see any change because the Singapore market is a hub and as Rotterdam/Anvers and Fujairah prices are quiet competitive,’ he told Manifold Times.

‘The main change was MFM which put more accuracy on this market which needed to be cleaned up.’

According to Vazzoler, TMF’s commercial operations ‘improved a lot’ since January 2017 after a decision to extend its logistic offer at Singapore.

‘[Since 2017] We have added a time charter bunker barge and two COA agreements with Singaporean first class companies and today we are delivering quiet a significant volume per month in Singapore, mainly 500 cSt and under term contracts,’ he shares.

‘Though the MFM development puts Singapore in good light, we also attribute our success to the daily work on customers’ care and relationship. Our philosophy never changes: Service, accuracy of delivery and a quality product, serious front and back end teams, last but not least – a long term relationship and trust.

‘What we need to do now is focus on more digitalisation and push for e-BDN, on-line services, real time bunkering surveys, and anything else which can put more transparency and trust in our business.’

Timothy Cosulich, CEO of Fratelli Cosulich, notes players who think of MFMs causing bunker suppliers to lose money’ is either ignorant or misinformed’.

‘The introduction of the MFM has brought an improvement in a market where, until January 2017, there were suppliers quoting prices 10-15 dollars below ex-wharf prices,’ he told Manifold Times.

‘Post January 2017, interestingly enough, these suppliers have raised their prices.

‘There are still too many suppliers in Singapore and this is why many players are still losing money or barely breaking even.
‘I am confident that when all the unreliable players will have left the market, we will see a much healthier situation, for all parties involved, from suppliers to customers alike.’

Cosulich says the company has seen a ‘clear improvement’ since January 2017 in terms of efficiency when using MFMs for bunker deliveries.

‘The use of the MFM brings transparency to the process and allows a greater scrutiny from customers and surveyors alike who can get access to historical data from the MFM on board of the barges, as well as the bunker profile.’

‘However, the fact that the situation has improved however doesn’t mean that we are seeing a sustainable market. There are still suppliers on the market who are quoting below-cost barging fees and this of course hurts the market.’

Singapore bunker suppliers actually incur a cost of about USD $0.20 per metric tonne (pmt) when adopting the use of MFMs for bunkering over a period of three years, according to industry sources.

The market price for complete MFM system including installation is approximately USD $250,000 without subsidy from the Singapore Maritime Cluster Fund.

A 5,000 mt capacity bunker tanker at Singapore, which is the average size, typically does eight turns in a month resulting in a monthly total of 40,000 mt; over one year this vessel will have delivered 480,000 mt of bunkers; over three years the similar ship will delivered 1.44 million mt.

Simply put, the total cost added to bunker deliveries over this three-year period is USD $250,000 divided by 1.44 million mt which is $0.17.

Photo credit: FreeImages.com/Ibon San Martin

 

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Newbuilding

Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

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Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

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Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.

 

Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

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Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.

 

Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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