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MEBC 24 returns for ninth year in February to provide insights on Middle East bunker market

Middle East Bunkering Convention returns to Dubai to offer expert comment and informed debate about issues impacting global marine fuel sector and to provide focus on Middle East bunker market.




David Rodrigo on Unsplash

The Middle East Bunkering Convention (MEBC) will return to Dubai in February for its ninth year to offer expert comment and informed debate about the issues and challenges impacting the global marine fuel sector and, as always, to provide a sharp focus on the evolving Middle East bunker market.

From the vantage point of early 2024, MEBC will consider the commercial outlook for the industry amid escalating geopolitical tensions and a tough and complicated sanctions landscape. Speakers at the conference will consider how vessel trading patterns may be changing in response to a volatile economic climate, on a global scale and regionally. They will consider if ‘deglobalisation’ is set to become a future trend and how might this affect various vessel segments?

Environmental regulation will be one of the key topics at this year’s MEBC. Speakers and delegates will consider the impact of CII and EEXI a year on since their implementation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as the new ambitions in the IMO’s revised greenhouse gas strategy which was hammered out at MEPC.

A raft of legislation will come into play in Europe in 2024 as part of the European Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ measures. These regulations, such as the inclusion of shipping in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS), will impact all vessels that call at European ports. MEBC will consider the possible ramifications of such regulations on shipping and bunkering companies.

COP28, held in Dubai in late 2023, was seen as be a barometer for the world’s progress towards net or absolute zero, and MEBC24 will provide a platform for debate on the outcomes of this crucial meeting as they relate to shipping. The Middle East is fast becoming a key producer of new, low carbon energy sources and MEBC speakers will look at how this is impacting on shipping, bunker supply, and the region’s ports.

As new fuels enter the bunker supply chain, MEBC24 will ask how marine fuel physical suppliers and traders are planning to adapt to what will be both a new commercial and operational environment. Also, while decarbonisation is the end goal, fossil-based bunker fuels are likely to be bought and sold for some years to come. As such, MEBC will offer a very useful platform for a discussion on the current global market environment for marine fuels – and the Middle East market in particular – including pricing, availability of fuel grades, and issues such as fuel quality and quantity challenges.

The use of mass flow meters (MFMs) for increased transparency in bunker deliveries has often been on the agenda of MEBC. In 2024, as the key European bunker hubs of Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges mandate the use of MFMs, MEBC will ask if the time is right for the wider of adoption of MFMs in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

Photo credit: David Rodrigo on Unsplash
Published: 26 December, 2023

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Bunker Fuel

Cargo ship “Tony Stark” detained in Spain for bunker fuel spill

Authorities have not allowed the Antigua & Barbuda-flagged ship to leave the port on Africa’s north coast until the owners pay bail of EUR 120,000.





Marine Traffic / Raul Buque

Spain detained a cargo ship for causing a spill during a bunkering operation near the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, according to Reuters on Tuesday (23 July). 

Authorities have not allowed the Antigua & Barbuda-flagged Tony Stark ship to leave the port on Africa's north coast until the owners pay bail of EUR 120,000 (USD 130,129), Reuters reported, citing comments from Spain’s Merchant Fleet. 

Trails of fuel oil were found in front of Benitez beach, the breakwaters of the port and San Amaro beach in Ceuta, in the Alboran sea.

The Merchant Fleet estimated the size of the fuel spill was one metric tonne. It opened a disciplinary procedure that will determine the final fine.


Photo credit: Marine Traffic / Raul Buque
Published: 24 July 2024

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NYK installs wind-assisted ship propulsion system on bulker “NBA Magritte”

NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) installed two wind-assisted ship-propulsion units on Cargill-chartered bulk carrier on 8 July at the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.





NYK installs wind-assisted ship propulsion system on bulker “NBA Magritte”

NYK Line on Tuesday (23 July) said NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) N.V. (NBAtlantic) has installed two wind-assisted ship-propulsion units on the bulk carrier NBA Magritte on 8 July at the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The bulk carrier is engaged in a long-term charter contract with Cargill (USA). 

“This is the first time a unit of this type has been installed on an NYK Group vessel,” NYK said on its website. 

Sitting on a 20-foot-long (approximately 6-metre) flat rack container with no walls, VentoFoil has a 16-metre vertical wing that acts as suction sail which expects about 5 times as much force compared to no-suction versions.

Features of VentoFoil

・VentoFoil creates propulsion with the pressure difference on both sides of the wing and is expected to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during vessel navigation.

・It takes in wind through its suction port and obtains greater propulsion by amplifying the pressure difference.

・The system can be easily activated and deactivated through a touch panel installed on the bridge, enabling operation without increasing the crew’s workload.

・It is smaller than similar wind equipment, making it easy to install and relocate.

・It can be folded in about 5 to 6 minutes, keeping it out of the way of cargo handling. (See video below.)

NBAtlantic will collect data on the propulsion generated by this equipment, as well as meteorological and ocean conditions during navigation, and measure the unit’s effectiveness in collaboration with Cargill International Inc. and NYK R&D subsidiary MTI Co., Ltd.

This initiative is part of NYK’s long-term target of net-zero emissions of GHGs by 2050 for the NYK Group's oceangoing businesses. The NYK Group will utilise the knowledge gained in this research and development to promote initiatives related to various energy-saving technologies, including the use of wind power.


Photo credit: NYK Line
Published: 24 July 2024

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Reed Smith: Intensified scrutiny of greenwashing ads reaches shipping sector

Lawyer Voirrey Davies shares her comments on greenwashing claims in the shipping industry, relating to UK Advertising Standards Authority recently upholding a complaint about an ad by a cruise company.






Law firm Reed Smith on Tuesday (23 July) shared comments by its lawyer Voirrey Davies on greenwashing claims in the shipping industry, relating to UK Advertising Standards Authority recently upholding a complaint about an ad by a cruise company in the digital edition of a national newspaper: 

Greenwashing has become a prominent issue, especially with the EU Taxonomy's possible extension to cover various segments of the transportation industry. While greenwashing is typically associated with the oil, gas, and finance sectors, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is now focusing on misleading advertisements across all industries, including shipping.

Hurtigruten - the Norwegian expedition cruise company - released an advert saying that they were the “leaders in sustainable expeditions” and it was the use of the word “sustainable” that resulted in them falling foul of the ASA. What Hurtigruten meant is that their cruises have a relatively low impact when compared to other cruise lines, which is probably true, but there was nothing to indicate in the advert that this claim of sustainability did not include flights.

However, the ASA said that this was not specific enough as it gives the misleading impression that the entire holiday package was “sustainable” and the measures Hurtigruten had put in place to reduce their environmental impact were insufficient to support an absolute “sustainable” claim.

The ASA and other regulatory authorities are keen to ensure that the understanding by consumers of the meaning of words, such as ‘sustainable’ or “green energy’, is clear and are maintaining a sharp watch on any company making such claims, whether they be an energy company, a private equity fund or indeed a cruise line.

As regulatory bodies like the ASA tighten their scrutiny, it becomes crucial for companies across all sectors to ensure their sustainability claims are clear, accurate, and fully substantiated.

Note: ASA’s ruling on the complaint involving Hurtigruten UK Ltd can be read here.


Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Published: 24 July 2024

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