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Moore Stephens: Owners facing dilemma on scrubbers

Costas Constantinou applies some ‘mathematical logic’ to help owners make an appropriate decision.

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Imagine walking into a car rental company in order to take delivery of a car you booked for your holidays. The employee greets you, takes you to the parking space, shows you two identical cars and lets you know that one car burns normal fuel while the other a special type of fuel that not only is it more expensive but also harder to find. Which car would you take if you had the choice? And wouldn’t you be willing to pay more for the conventional fuel car? If choosing the conventional car appears reasonable, why should charterers behave any differently when they are faced with a similar choice after the implementation of IMO’s regulation for reduced Sulphur emissions in two years’ time?

Compliance with this regulation can be achieved in two ways –either by switching to Low Sulphur content fuel or by installing a system of pollution control devices that removes Sulphur from the exhaust fumes and therefore enables the vessel to continue consuming normal Sulphur fuel. The first choice is expensive as the price of this new type of fuel is currently approximately $250 per ton higher than that of conventional fuel and the second needs substantial capital investment and is also disruptive as the vessel will need to go into a shipyard for major retrofit works. With this kind of price differential however, the additional total fuel bill is not going to be an immaterial amount and because fuel costs are borne by Charterers the answer to their question “do I charter a vessel burning expensive and hard to find Low Sulphur Fuel or should I charter one with a Scrubber installed?” seems to be quite obvious.

From the Owners’ perspective however, the decision of how to comply with the regulation is not as straight forward. Firstly, the potential benefit cannot be safely quantified as it depends on the price differential between the two fuel types in the future which is currently unknown and unpredictable. At the moment nobody can say with certainty what will happen to this differential, not just immediately after the implementation of the regulation but in the medium term after that, as this will depend on the future supply and demand curves of the two different fuel types. Due to the nature of the fuel market, there is a long lead time for supply to adjust to demand and also for demand to find a new equilibrium following the decisions that will be made by thousands of owners around the globe. So even if in the long-term supply will match demand, the short and medium term are most probably going to be volatile.

In addition, in contrast with the other environmental regulations Owners had to comply with, the impact of this decision is greater on the profitability, and therefore behavior, of their counterparty, the Charterer, rather their own. It appears that the Owners need to take on the business risk of the decision, for the Charterer to benefit and whereas Charterers have the luxury of waiting to see how the price differential will move and then make their choice, the owners must act a lot sooner as retrofitting a scrubber is not something that can be done quickly, making this difficult choice even harder.

I set out below my personal thoughts on the issue and try to apply some “mathematical logic” to this difficult problem hoping that this process will enlighten this complicated issue and help owners make an appropriate decision.

The Owner has to make one of the following choices:
A) Install a Scrubber or
B) Do nothing,
the financial outcome of which will depend on the future movement of the bunker price differential which may

1) Stay the same or
2) Equalize,
giving us four different outcomes A1, A2, B1 and B2 as follows:

A1-Scrubbers are installed and the differential does not fall
Vessels equipped with a scrubber will be able to consume the cheaper high Sulphur fuel and will have a substantial competitive advantage compared to vessels that will need to buy the more expensive fuel. Charterers would be willing to pay a premium to charter a vessel that will save them money and therefore demand and surely charter rates are bound to increase for these vessels.

A2-Scrubbers are installed and the differential equalizes
The owner will lose as he will be unable to take advantage of his vessels ability to burn low cost fuel. The investment he made will be worthless as he will be in no better position to the owner that chose to do nothing. His losses will be equal to the cost of the investment (capital and financial).

B1-Scrubbers are not installed and the differential does not fall
The owner will have to buy the more expensive low Sulphur fuel making his vessel quite unattractive to charterers who would not prefer to charter a vessel that has to burn expensive fuel. Charterers are likely to push back part of their costs to the owner by way of reduced charter rates or select ships with scrubbers.

B2-Scrubbers are not installed and the differential equalizes
There will not be a change from what we have today and there will be no change for either charterer or owner.

The above outcomes need to be quantified and to do so we need to primarily consider:

  1. Cost for retrofitting the Scrubber system (both direct and indirect)
  2. Additional operating costs to operate the Scrubber system
  3. Estimated annual consumption of fuel irrespective of whether the vessel is chartered on a voyage or time charter basis as illustrated by the car rental example.

Using data obtained from Clarksons (*) for a Capesize vessel (as of March 2017):

  • Cost of Scrubber: $5,000,000
  • Additional Opex : $100,000
  • Annual consumption: 12,900mt
  • Current differential: US$250 per mt.
  • Difference in fuel costs: 3,225,000 p.a.

And assuming, for simplicity purposes, that the benefits fully accrue either to the owner or to the charterer, we get table 1 (Amounts in US$)

Table 1:

    Yr0 Yr1-Yr4 Yr1 Yr2 Yr3 Yr4  
  Price differential Investment Opex p.a. Additional Fuel Cost Total
Install Scrubber Falls to Zero -5,000,000 -100,000 NIL NIL NIL NIL (5,400,000)
Difference remains -5,000,000 -100,000 3,225,000 3,225,000 3,225,000 3,225,000 7,500,000
Do not install Scrubber Falls to Zero NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL NIL
Difference remains NIL NIL (3,225,000) (3,225,000) (3,225,000) (3,225,000) (12,900,000)

And plotting the above to a grid we get table 2.
Table 2:

  Fuel Price differential
Same Falls to zero
Choices A – Install Scrubber 7,500,000 -5,400,000
B – Do nothing -12,900,000 0

where we can see that by making Choice A, the owner could either gain US$7.5million or lose US$5.4million whereas with Choice B he could either lose US$12.9million or gain nothing depending on what will happen to the current price differential.

Just by looking at the numbers we see that the installation of a Scrubber, caps the potential loss to a known amount, avoids the worst-case scenario of trading with an uncompetitive vessel and opens the possibility for substantial gains. Not doing anything on the other hand has a best-case scenario of zero, rules out the possibility of gains and makes the owner vulnerable to substantial losses.

The above looks a lot like the Prisoners Dilemma Game studied in Game Theory and like the game, the choice the owner will make will depend on his individual risk profile and game strategy.

Real life however is not a simple game and in order to make such an important decision the owners need to consider other factors such as:

  1. Technical ability to install scrubber – Not all vessels are suited for the installation of scrubbers as these are physically quite substantial machines. There are many technical issues that need to be resolved.
  2. Time into the future to perform the analysis. A newer vessel has more leeway to recover the cost than an older vessel approaching retirement age.
  3. Individual to the Owner cost of capital to the company in order to discount the time series.
  4. The above example, for simplicity purposes, assumes a 50:50 probability of the movement of the price differential. Best estimates on the probabilities and fuel prices must be ascertained as they materially affect the choice.
  5. The opportunity to make financial profits or avoid making large losses depends on what the rest of the competitors do. On one extreme, if the owner of the example is the only one installing scrubbers and finds his vessels able to consume $250 per ton less than the competition then he will be able to claim a large portion of the savings for his own account. If on the other hand all owners install scrubbers then this saving will probably benefit just the Charterers. Who the “competition” is must be clearly defined and examined.
  6. Timing of the installation. The later this is left and the clearer the option of installing scrubbers becomes, the higher the probability that the shipyards that are able to perform this retrofit will not have the capacity to accommodate more vessels and therefore the cost of the installation may increase.
  7. Geographical areas of operations in order to consider the possibility of non-availability of low Sulphur fuel meaning that bunkering will be for much larger quantities with a negative impact on cash flows and, perhaps more importantly, place serious limits on the readiness of the vessel to capitalize on good chartering opportunities. If the vessel is already trading in ECAs then benefits will accrue before the IMO deadline.

In conclusion, it is very important to note that every shipping company has different operations and strategies and therefore there is no “one size fits all” solution to this problem. Each owner must “play his own game” by estimating and quantifying all parameters, preparing cash flow projections based on those individual to the company parameters, enter them into mathematical decision theory models so that they can commit to a decision earlier than their competition and get into beneficial agreements with Bankers, Shipyards, Charterers and Fuel Suppliers in order to get out of the ‘Low Sulphur Fuel prison trap’ unscathed.

The article above is written by Costas Constantinou, Managing Partner, Moore Stephens Chartered Accountants A.E. (Reproduced with permission). The original version can be viewed here.

Photo credit: EGCSA
Published: 3 August, 2018

 

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Analysis

JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (March 2024)

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales grew in March, as the shipping industry recovered gradually and sellers actively boosted sales on the back of ample supply and high inventories.

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JLC Bonded bunker fuel sales in Zhoushan (Mar 2024)

Beijing-based commodity market information provider JLC Network Technology Co. recently shared its JLC China Bunker monthly report for March 2024 with Manifold Times through an exclusive arrangement:

Bunker Fuel Demand

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales surge in March

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales grew in March, as the shipping industry recovered gradually and sellers actively boosted sales on the back of ample supply and high inventories. Domestic LSFO prices were lower than those in Singapore and other neighboring ports, incentivizing shipowners or operators to refuel their vessels in China, with bunkering volume in Shanghai and Zhoushan rising considerably.

The country sold about 1.82 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, with the daily sales up 13.59% month on month to 58,658 mt, JLC’s data shows.

Sales by Chimbusco, Sinopec (Zhoushan) and China ChangJiang Bunker (Sinopec) came in at 540,000 mt, 630,000 mt and 30,000 mt in March, while those by suppliers with regional bunkering licenses settled at 558,400 mt. At the same time, SinoBunker sold about 60,000 mt of bonded bunker fuel, the data indicates.

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports rise in first two months

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports rose in the first two months of this year, underpinned by fresh quotas and larger production.

The country exported a combination of 3.02 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in January-February, growing by 3.13% from the same months in 2023, JLC estimated, with reference to data from the General Administration of Customs of the PRC (GACC).

Heavy bunker fuel exports totaled about 2.85 million mt in the two months, accounting for 94.13% of the total, while light bunker fuel exports were 177,500 mt, accounting for 5.87%.

The increase in the exports mainly came as China released this year’s first batch of quotas on LSFO exports at the end of 2023. Though refiners’ LSFO production margins were relatively poor, they ramped up their production amid new quotas, which buoyed the exports. China’s LSFO output totaled 2.57 million mt in January-February, with the daily output gaining 2.69% year on year to 42,850 mt, JLC’s data shows.

In January alone, China’s bonded bunker fuel exports settled at 1.78 million mt, jumping by 11.93% month on month and 34.71% year on year.

However, the exports plunged to 1.25 million mt in February, down by 29.99% month on month and 22.75% year on year. Bunkering business at Chinese ports was halted during the Chinese New Year holiday, and customs’ clearing procedure for export was also affected by the holiday. In addition, the operation of many ports was hit hard by heavy snow and freezing rains, adding to the downward pressure on the exports.

 

JLC China bunker exports by region 2023 2024

 

JLC China major blending producers' bunker supply (Mar 2024)

Domestic-trade bunker fuel demand rises in March

Domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel demand recovered mildly in March, as the shipping industry rebounded after the Chinese New Year holiday. However, the demand growth was still limited as some shipowners still suspended services and the market was dominated by wait-and-see sentiment amid high prices.

Domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel demand was estimated at 430,000 mt in the month, a gain of 70,000 mt or 19.44% from a month earlier, JLC’s data shows.

Meanwhile, domestic-trade light bunker fuel demand was estimated at about 140,000 mt, a gain of 20,000 mt or 16.67% from a month earlier, the data indicates.

Bunker Fuel Supply

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports soar in Jan-Feb

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports soared in January-February 2024, due to a low base a year earlier.

The country recorded 581,900 mt of bonded bunker fuel imports in the two months, a surge of 27.36% year on year, with 359,200 mt in January and 222,700 mt in February, JLC estimated, with reference to data from the GACC.

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports dived to a record low in January-February 2023, as bunkering demand had not fully recovered from the epidemic, also because of high freight rates and ample domestic supply. The imports totaled only 456,900 mt in the first two months of 2023, tumbling by 48.01% year on year.

On the other hand, Chinese refiners boosted LSFO production in January-February 2024, limiting the import growth. These refiners produced about 2.57 million mt of LSFO in the two months, with the daily output climbing by 2.69% year on year to 42,850 mt, JLC’s data shows.

Russia became the largest bonded bunker fuel supplier in the first two months of this year, exporting 276,800 mt to China, accounting for 47.57% of the latter’s total imports. Malaysia ranked second with 186,800 mt, accounting for 32.10%, followed by South Korea with 95,800 mt, accounting for 16.46%. Japan climbed to the fourth place with 21,500 mt, occupying 3.69%, while Singapore slipped to the fifth place with only 1,000 mt, making up 0.17%.

In China’s bonded bunker fuel market, only HSFO and MGO are still mainly imported, while LSFO is rarely imported as its import efficiency is relatively low amid steep freight rates.

JLC Bonded bunker fuel imports by source Jan Feb 2024

Domestic-trade bunker fuel supply increases in March

Domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel supply improved in March, as availability of some blendstocks (such as low-sulfur residual oil and shale oil) increased.

Chinese blenders supplied about 460,000 mt of domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel in the month, a rise of 60,000 mt or 15% from February, JLC’s data shows.

Similarly, domestic-trade MGO supply rose to 160,000 mt in March, up 30,000 mt or 23.08% month on month, the data shows. Refineries’ enthusiasm for MGO production improved in March, as domestic MGO prices moved up along with domestic oil products.

JLC Arrival of imported fuel oil cargoes

 

JLC China main oil blending feedstock prices

JLC China domestic trading 180 cSt bunker fuel price 2023 2024

JLC China bunker blending profit by region 2023 2024

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JLC Network Technology Co., Ltd is recognized as the leading information provider in China. We specialized in providing the transparent, high-value, authoritative market intelligence and professional analysis in commodity market. Our expertise covers oil, gas, coal, chemical, plastic, rubber, fertilizer and metal industry, etc.

JLC China Bunker Fuel Market Monthly Report is published by JLC Network Technology Co., Ltd every month on China bunker market, demand, supply, margin, freight index, forecast and so on. The report provides full-scale & concise insight into China bunker oil market.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be photocopied, reproduced, retransmitted, put into a computer system or otherwise redistributed without prior authorization from JLC.

Related: JLC China Bunker Fuel Market Monthly Report (February 2024)
RelatedJLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (January 2024)

Note: China-based commodity market information provider JLC Technology has been providing Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times China bunker volume data since 2020. Data from earlier periods are available here.

 

Photo credit: JLC Network Technology
Published: 11 April 2024

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Fuel Testing

VPS publishes 2023 annual review of its findings on bunker fuels

Findings in VPS’ review include 58% of its 2023 Bunker Alerts were for VLSFO fuels, followed by 24% for MGO fuels and 14% for HSFO; most common problematic parameter was Flash Point.

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Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (16 January) published an article titled ‘2023 Marine Bunker Fuels Review’ by Steve Bee, VPS Group Commercial Director, giving insightful annual review of VPS findings on both global and regional maritime fuel matters, focusing on marine fuels. 

Introduction

2023 saw the continuing evolution and the widening of available maritime fuel types and grades, as the global shipping industry gathered decarbonisation momentum to reduce its emissions and achieve current and future legislation targets. Existing CII and EEXI requirements, the incoming EU ETS legislation, plus the slightly longer-term IMO legislation, saw increasing demand for additional testing, lower-carbon fuels, data and digitalisation solutions across the shipping sectors.

As the leading maritime decarbonisation testing and advisory services provider, VPS continued to be at the forefront of marine fuels and lubricants analysis, utilising our experience, expertise and innovative approach, to support this drive for a more sustainable shipping fleet.  

Throughout the year, VPS witnessed further fuel quality issues with VLSFOs in terms of cold-flow property issues, sulphur compliance and cat-fines. HSFO and VLSFO suffered numerous degrees of chemical contamination, whilst MGO suffered from cold-flow, flash point and FAME off-specifications.

Biofuels usage certainly gathered momentum and the increased demand from the market led to increasing queries regarding their fuel management and their “fit-for-purpose” as a drop-in marine fuel, which in turn called upon VPS to provide answers and solutions to customers, utilising our extensive knowledge and understanding of biofuels and their associated test parameters. 

The Marine Fuel Mix

Across 2023, the fuel mix with respect to samples received for testing in VPS laboratories, equated to 62.7 million MT, which is over 5 million MT of marine fuels per month. VLSFO was the most popular marine fuel with 54.3% of the fuels used, followed by 29.5% HSFO (a growth of 15.4% over 2022), 14.2% MGO, 1.2% ULSFO and 0.8% Biofuels. Regarding biofuels usage, the samples tested by VPS equated to an increase from 231,000 MT in 2022 to 558,000 MT in 2023.

VPS 2023 MARINE BUNKER FUELS REVIEW

VPS Bunker Alerts

Bunker Alerts highlight short term fuel quality issues identified by VPS, for a specific test parameter of a specific fuel grade/type in a specific port. The service provides valuable information to customers, to assist in avoiding potentially problematic fuel types in a highlighted port or region, to further protect the customer’s asset and crew.

In 2023 VPS issued 28 Bunker Alerts, eight fewer than in 2022. The 2023 Bunker Alerts included all major fuel grades, i.e. VLSFO, HSFO, MGO and ULSFO, ten different test parameters, 12 ports and 9 countries.

58% of the 2023 Bunker Alerts were for VLSFO fuels, followed by 24% for MGO fuels and 14% for HSFO. The most common problematic parameter was Flash Point, accounting for 28% of the Bunker Alerts, followed by Sodium at 24%, with Sulphur and TSP at 10% each.

Singapore (32%) and ARA (21%) were the regions/ports most frequently requiring a Bunker Alert to be issued. But as these are the two busiest bunkering regions, it is not too surprising.

Screenshot 2024 01 29 104316 0

Screenshot 2024 01 29 104316 1

VLSFO Fuel Quality

As the most used marine fuel type, VLSFO accounts for more than half of the fuels tested by VPS. In terms of quality, Europe provided the highest level of off-specification VLSFOs in both 2023 (7.8%) and 2022 (7.9%). Africa provided the next highest level of off-specification fuels with 6.7% in 2023 and 7.0% in 2022, with North America third with 4.4% of fuels tested exhibiting at least one off-specification parameter in 2023 and 4.3% in 2022.

Screenshot 2024 01 29 104316 2

Screenshot 2024 01 29 104316 3

Sulphur is the most common off-specification parameter of VLSFOs, accounting for 26.6% of VLSFO off-specs in 2023 and 31.5% in 2022. 0.7% of VLSFOs tested in 2023 had a sulphur level of 0.50%-0.53%, with 0.5% of samples tested having a sulphur level greater than 0.53%.

Pour Point was also a common off-specification parameter for VLSFOs with 13.6% of VLSFOs off-specs relating to this parameter in 2023 an increase over the 11.4% level witnessed in 2022. 

The importance of the additional cold-flow test of Wax Appearance Temperature (WAT) and Wax Disappearance Temperature (WDT), was highlighted in 2023 with 63% of VLSFOs exhibiting WAT of 31-40ºC and 14% having WAT between 41-50ºC. 55.7% of VLSFO samples had a WDT of 41-50ºC, with 28.1% having a WDT of >50ºC. VLSFOs cold-flow properties are a definite concern with wax precipitating from the fuel at temperatures way in excess of 10ºC above the pour point, potentially causing numerous operational problems such as filter and pipework blockages.

Sulphur is the most common off-specification parameter of VLSFOs, accounting for 26.6% of VLSFO off-specs in 2023 and 31.5% in 2022. 0.7% of VLSFOs tested in 2023 had a sulphur level of 0.50%-0.53%, with 0.5% of samples tested having a sulphur level greater than 0.53%.

Pour Point was also a common off-specification parameter for VLSFOs with 13.6% of VLSFOs off-specs relating to this parameter in 2023 an increase over the 11.4% level witnessed in 2022. 

The importance of the additional cold-flow test of Wax Appearance Temperature (WAT) and Wax Disappearance Temperature (WDT), was highlighted in 2023 with 63% of VLSFOs exhibiting WAT of 31-40ºC and 14% having WAT between 41-50ºC. 55.7% of VLSFO samples had a WDT of 41-50ºC, with 28.1% having a WDT of >50ºC. VLSFOs cold-flow properties are a definite concern with wax precipitating from the fuel at temperatures way in excess of 10ºC above the pour point, potentially causing numerous operational problems such as filter and pipework blockages.

2023 also saw a significant increase in cat-fine levels in VLSFOs, with 12.7% of all off-specifications relating to this parameter, compared to 8.5% in 2022. 16.2% of all VLSFOs showed a cat-fine level greater than 40ppm. Frequent checking of purifier efficiency via VPS’ Fuel System Checks (FSC) service is a highly recommended proactive safeguard in respect to increased cat-fines within VLSFOs.

VLSFO viscosities vary enormously depending upon to blend components used. In 2023 VLSFO viscosities ranged from <20Cst to >380Cst. 16% of all VLSFO off-specifications were due to viscosity. Only 0.5% of VLSFOs had a viscosity of >380Cst. 68% of all VLSFO viscosities were less than 180Cst. Viscosity is such a key operational parameter, determining the transfer and injection temperatures of fuel onboard ships and therefore determining the exact viscosity of VLSFOs is crucial to ensure optimal efficiency.

Biofuels

As global shipping looks towards low-to-zero carbon fuels to answer many emissions reduction challenges, biofuels offer an immediate “drop-in” solution. As such VPS tested the equivalent of over 500,000 MT of biofuels in 2023 compared to ca. 230,000 MT in 2022.

Europe, (mainly ARA-region) provided the highest volume of biofuels at almost 400K MT (ca. 74%) and Singapore second (ca. 21%), providing just over 100K MT.

The most common biofuel blend was B30 (10-30% bio), which accounted for 34.3% of biofuel samples tested by VPS. Yet, B100 (>90% bio) was not far behind with 30.1%.

The majority of biofuels contained Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) as the bio-component, although VPS did test others containing HVO, HEFA, Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) and Tyre Pyrolysis Oil (TPO).

Where FAME is the bio-component within marine biofuels, the key considerations are:

  • Energy Content, Renewable Content
  • Fuel Stability, Cold-Flow Properties
  • Corrosivity, Microbial Growth

Of the biofuels tested by VPS in 2023, 9% of those tested for oxidation stability gave the concerning result of <5 hours, highlighting a high degree of instability, whilst 6.7% gave a result of 5-8 hours which is still a cause for concern.

In terms of corrosivity, 11.9% of those biofuels tested provided an amber/caution result, whilst 8.5% of those tested provide a red warning, indicating potential high levels of corrosivity.

It is fully expected that the growth in biofuels usage for marine applications will continue to increase across 2024 and the VPS Additional Protection Service (APS) when using biofuels, will only increase in importance as the industry looks for more information regarding the fuel management of biofuels.

Summary

2023 once again highlighted the importance of bunker fuel quality testing, as a proactive means to protect vessels, their crew and the environment. With additional tests, currently not included within ISO8217, providing further  vital information in achieving heightened levels of protection.

Whilst we can expect a new revision of ISO8217 in early 2024, additional tests will still hold an important role in fuel management.

Biofuels usage will continue to increase in demand and importance, as ship owners and operators look to achieve improvements through CII and EEXI, as well as looking to counter the financial impact of the EU ETS scheme.

Methanol demand and usage will also grow, following the recent success of Maersk’s Laura Maersk and the rapidly growing order book for methanol-powered vessels.

So 2024, suggests another year of widening marine fuel types and grades coming to market, coupled with their growing fuel management considerations.

Note: The full article titled ‘2023 Marine Bunker Fuels Review’ with related graphs and charts can be found here

Related: World’s first methanol-fuelled boxship christened and named “Laura Maersk”

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 30 January, 2024

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Business

Exclusive: Estimated marine fuel sales figures of Singapore top 10 bunker suppliers by volume in 2023

Top three gainers for 2023 were Sinopec Fuel Oil (+16), Pegasus Maritime (+12), and both Kenoil Marime Services (+6) and Central Star Marine Supplies (+6).

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday (12 January) updated its list of top bunker suppliers by volume in 2023.

A survey conducted by Singapore marine fuels publication Manifold Times with selected industry sources revealed the estimated annual bunker sales volume for the republic’s top 10 Singapore bunker suppliers in 2023:

ESTIMATED ANNUAL FIGURES OF TOP 10 BUNKER SUPPLIERS BY VOLUME (YEAR 2023)
Position BUNKER SUPPLIERS Volume in 2023
1 EQUATORIAL MARINE FUEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES PTE LTD 5.0 million mt
2 TFG MARINE PTE LTD 4.8 million mt
3 SINOPEC FUEL OIL (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD. 4.7 million mt
4 PETROCHINA INTERNATIONAL (S) PTE LTD 4.6 million mt
5 VITOL BUNKERS (S) PTE. LTD. Not available
6 CHEVRON SINGAPORE PTE LTD Not available
7 BP SINGAPORE PTE. LIMITED 2.94 million mt
8 GLOBAL ENERGY TRADING PTE LTD 2.44 million mt
9 SHELL EASTERN TRADING (PTE) LTD Not available
10 ENG HUA COMPANY (PTE) LTD 2.2 million mt

The top three gainers for 2023 were Sinopec Fuel Oil (Singapore) Pte. Ltd (+16) which entered the Singapore market in 2022, Pegasus Maritime (S) Pte Ltd (+12), and both Kenoil Marime Services Pte Ltd (+6) and Central Star Marine Supplies Pte Ltd (+6).

Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers (S) Pte Ltd dropped by ten places from 26th in 2022 to 36th position in 2023.

A total of 41 bunker suppliers was registered in this year’s list (compared to 42 in 2022) due to the departure of Toyota Tsusho Petroleum Pte Ltd in Q4 2023.

A list of all bunker suppliers ranked by volume in 2023 (versus position in 2022) and their movement are as follows (best viewed on desktop):

LIST OF ALL BUNKER SUPPLIERS BY VOLUME (YEAR 2023)
Position in 2023 BUNKER SUPPLIERS Position in 2022 Movement
1 EQUATORIAL MARINE FUEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES PTE LTD 1 0
2 TFG MARINE PTE LTD 3 +1
3 SINOPEC FUEL OIL (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD. 19 +16
4 PETROCHINA INTERNATIONAL (S) PTE LTD 2 -2
5 VITOL BUNKERS (S) PTE. LTD. 4 -1
6 CHEVRON SINGAPORE PTE LTD 8 +2
7 BP SINGAPORE PTE. LIMITED 6 -1
8 GLOBAL ENERGY TRADING PTE LTD 7 -1
9 SHELL EASTERN TRADING (PTE) LTD 5 -4
10 ENG HUA COMPANY (PTE) LTD 11 +1
11 GLENCORE SINGAPORE PTE.LTD. 13 +2
12 MINERVA BUNKERING PTE LTD 9 -3
13 MAERSK OIL TRADING SINGAPORE PTE LTD 12 -1
14 EXXONMOBIL ASIA PACIFIC PTE LTD 14 0
15 SENTEK MARINE & TRADING PTE LTD 10 -5
16 MARUBENI INT'L PETROLEUM (S) PTE LTD 17 +1
17 GOLDEN ISLAND DIESEL OIL TRADING PTE LTD 16 -1
18 SINGAMAS PETROLEUM TRADING PTE LTD 23 +5
19 BUNKER HOUSE PETROLEUM PTE LTD 24 +5
20 CATHAY MARINE FUEL OIL TRADING PTE LTD 21 -1
21 HONG LAM FUELS PTE LTD 15 -6
22 SK ENERGY INTERNATIONAL PTE LTD 20 -2
23 CONSORT BUNKERS PTE LTD 18 -5
24 TOTALENERGIES MARINE FUELS PTE LTD 22 -2
25 KENOIL MARINE SERVICES PTE LTD 31 +6
26 PEGASUS MARITIME (S) PTE LTD 38 +12
27 PALMSTONE TANKERS & TRADING PTE LTD 28 +1
28 GLOBAL MARINE TRANSPORTATION PTE LTD 27 -1
29 TRITON BUNKERING SERVICES PTE LTD 34 -5
30 SIRIUS MARINE PTE LTD 30 0
31 CENTRAL STAR MARINE SUPPLIES PTE LTD 37 +6
32 GRANDEUR TRADING & SERVICES PTE LTD 25 -7
33 CNC PETROLEUM PTE LTD 32 -1
34 IMPEX MARINE (S) PTE LTD 36 +2
35 HAI YIN MARINE PTE LTD 39 +4
36 FRATELLI COSULICH BUNKERS (S) PTE LTD 26 -10
37 VICTORY PTE LTD 35 -2
38 EASTPOINT INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PTE LTD 33 -5
39 HAI FU MARINE SERVICES PTE LTD 40 +1
40 BUNKER B PTE LTD 41 +1
41 SHELL SINGAPORE PTE. LTD. 42 -1
  • Includes conventional bunker and biofuel bunker

This year saw MPA including a list of top biofuel bunker suppliers by volume in 2023 with several new entries recorded supplying biofuel at the world’s largest bunkering port; the data is as follows:

LIST OF ALL BUNKER SUPPLIERS BY VOLUME OF BIOFUEL SUPPLIED (YEAR 2023)
Position in 2023 BUNKER SUPPLIERS Position in 2022
1 MAERSK OIL TRADING SINGAPORE PTE LTD New entry
2 CHEVRON SINGAPORE PTE LTD 1
3 BP SINGAPORE PTE. LIMITED 3
4 VITOL BUNKERS (S) PTE. LTD. 2
5 MINERVA BUNKERING PTE LTD 6
6 TOTALENERGIES MARINE FUELS PTE LTD 4
7 SHELL EASTERN TRADING (PTE) LTD New entry
8 TFG MARINE PTE LTD New entry
9 EXXONMOBIL ASIA PACIFIC PTE LTD 5
10 CATHAY MARINE FUEL OIL TRADING PTE LTD New entry
11 GLOBAL ENERGY TRADING PTE LTD 8
12 GOLDEN ISLAND DIESEL OIL TRADING PTE LTD New entry
13 PETROCHINA INTERNATIONAL (S) PTE LTD New entry
14 KENOIL MARINE SERVICES PTE LTD 9

Manifold Times recently reported a total of 51.82 million tonnes of bunker sales being registered in 2023, surpassing the previous record of 50.64 million tonnes in 2017.

Related: Singapore achieves milestone with record year for bunker sales in 2023
Related: Toyota Tsusho Petroleum removed from licensed bunker suppliers list in Port of Singapore
Related: Exclusive: Estimated marine fuel sales figures of Singapore top 10 bunker suppliers by volume in 2022
RelatedExclusive: Estimated marine fuel sales figures of Singapore top 10 bunker suppliers by volume in 2021
RelatedExclusive: Singapore top bunker suppliers reveal estimated sales volume for 2020
RelatedExclusive: Singapore top bunker suppliers reveal estimated sales volume for 2019
Related: Exclusive: Estimated annual sales volume for Singapore top bunker suppliers (2018)
Related: Exclusive: Singapore top bunker suppliers reveal monthly sales volume (2017)

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 16 January 2024

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