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Oman Oil Marketing Company: Time to consider the total cost of bunkering

Operators need to consider the total cost of bunkering or risk losing business, says Christophe El. Kati,
Head of Marine and Bunkers at the Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO).

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The following article features Christophe El. Kati, Head of Marine and Bunkers at the Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO), who shares his thoughts on how its Duqm bunker terminal can reduce the total cost of bunkering for ship owners. 

As fuel prices in regional ports approach USD1000 per tonne, and berth availability and wait times negatively impact sailing timetables, decisions on where and when to bunker can significantly impact efficiency and an operator’s ability to retain business. 

Thinking about the total cost of bunkering means that ship operators measure the impact of bunkering decisions on overall operational costs and the wider sustainability of a voyage, rather than just fuel cost. To manage the total cost of bunkering, charter party agreements also need to be scrutinised, with the impact of slow steaming and the number of days of steaming, routes, and arrival times all important factors.

Any gains made in minimising the total cost of bunkering will improve an operator’s performance within the terms of the Sea Cargo Charter. Although the provisions of the Charter only apply to its signatories, those signatories include some of the largest and most influential charterers in the market. The Charter is also an increasingly important mechanism for boosting transparency and cooperation between operator and charterer. It sets performance criteria for operators based on a measurement of climate alignment, defined as the degree to which voyage carbon intensity is in line with the IMO’s ambitions for reducing total annual GHG emissions. It relies specifically on the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) which involves measurement of fuel consumption, a GHG emission factor for each fuel type, the distance travelled while laden, and the amount of cargo transported. How is all this relevant to the total cost of bunkering? Because it incentivises operators and charterers to look beyond just the price of fuel at competing bunker ports. Commercially and environmentally, this makes sense.  

Digital voyage planning tools make it increasingly easy to accurately predict costs and evaluate the potential benefits of new bunkering locations. This should encourage operators to look beyond traditional bunker ports and take a more analytical approach to assessing all the options, including those that may offer a faster transit time and reduced waiting time at port.

OOMCO’s new terminal at the Port of Duqm, located on Oman’s Arabian Sea coast, is an ideal example. The port is in the immediate vicinity of the international trade route between Asia and Europe, without long wait times. In its region, a port call at Duqm for bunkering, resupply and crew changes can remove the need for a detour to nearby regional ports, for example, which could add a minimum of seven days. By eliminating several days of fuel and operational costs,  a port call at Duqm can significantly reduce the total cost of bunkering for operators. Duqm also lies outside the high-risk zone that triggers the costly requirement for war risks cover; a significant financial saving.

OOMCO’s terminal offers high-quality HSFO, VLSFO and LSMGO marine fuel specifications in compliance with ISO 8217 and has been designed to meet the increasing demand for all low sulphur fuel-compliant marine fuels in line with IMO2020. The 10,000 metric tonne vessel MT Alpha, capable of delivering fuel at up to 1,000 m3 / hour, facilitates bunker calls for vessels visiting the port. 

The Port of Duqm also offers a wide array of services, strengthening Oman’s marine infrastructure and making it one of the most dynamic marine and industrial hubs in the region. Vessels calling at Duqm can take advantage of a range of services, including pilotage, freshwater supply, waste collection, tug services, crew change, de-slopping services, ship handling, and ship spares. The port also hosts Oman Drydock Company, one of the largest ship repair yards in the world. Duqm’s wide range of services make it easier for vessel operators to justify a decision to bunker in the port. 

The development of the new OOMCO terminal is underpinned by the $7 billion Duqm refinery which will have a capacity of 230,000 barrels per day, once completed. In addition, the nearby Ras Markaz storage terminal is also currently under construction. It will culminate in six million barrels of storage capacity being available in 2022, with an additional capacity of 19 million barrels earmarked for the site as a future development. In addition, there are plans in place for the supply of other marine fuels, including LNG and methanol, as well as green ammonia and green hydrogen.

The bunker fuel market in the Middle East and Africa region is expected to grow by more than 12% between 2022-2025. By taking a ‘total cost of bunkering’ approach, Duqm can help vessel operators to unlock greater efficiencies within their fuel procurement strategy that will protect their bottom line and optimise their port calls.

Related: Oman Oil Marketing Company launches bunkering operations at Port of Sohar
Related: Oman Oil Marketing Company launches new bunker terminal at Port of Duqm
Related: OOMCO signs bunkering agreement for ops at Port Sultan Qaboos
Related: OOMCO Directors approve construction of Duqm bunker terminal
Related: Duqm Bunker Terminal eyes 2021 commission

 

Photo credit and source: Oman Oil Marketing Company
Published: 11 April, 2022

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Environment

Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

‘Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,’ says Chee Hong Tat.

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Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

The allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR on 14 June was not caused by port congestion, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said on Tuesday (18 June). 

Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima crashed into a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June, causing oil from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Chee said some members of the public have asked if this incident was due to congestion in our port waters.

“Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,” he said a social media post.

“It is not due to port congestion as our port waters and anchorages are not congested. The earlier reports on delays experienced by container vessels are a separate matter that is due to the bunching of container vessels arriving at PSA.”

Chee added it will take time for Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to complete the full investigations and progressively clean up the oil spill. 

“We seek the understanding of members of the public and businesses who are affected by this incident. We will do our best to complete the clean up as soon as possible.”

Manifold Times previously reported MPA stating that it saw large increases in container volumes and the “bunching” of container vessel arrivals over the previous months due to supply chain disruptions in upstream locations.

Later, MPA confirmed that since the beginning of 2024, Singapore saw a significant increase in vessel arrivals.

In the first four months of 2024, MPA said the monthly average tonnage of container vessel arrivals reached 72.4 million gross tonnage (GT). This is an increase of more than one million GT per month, compared to the same period last year. 

On 20 June, in a joint statement, authorities said the northern part of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal (PPT) is cleared of oil slicks following the deployment of the Current Buster, an oil recovery and containment system, since 18 June. 

Thorough cleaning of the oil-stained Berth 36 near the allision area using high-pressure jets is on-going.

PPT was the location of the oil spillage following the 14 June allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR. 

“The deployment of the Current Buster at this upstream location is important to prevent surface oil from flowing westwards towards West Coast Park which is unaffected till date, and also eastward towards downstream locations, including Sentosa beaches, Sentosa Cove, Southern Islands, and Keppel Marina,” authorities, including MPA, said.  

Three Current Buster systems have been deployed. Two systems capable of five tonnes of recovered oil per load are deployed off western affected areas at PPT and Sentosa. The other system capable of 35 tonnes load is deployed off eastern affected areas off East Coast and Changi East as a precaution to recover any oil and prevent further spread. Another 35 tonnes-load Current Buster system will be deployed shortly.

Total length of booms deployed since 14 June is 3400 meters. This is more than the approximate 3100 meters originally planned.

Note: The full statement by Singapore authorities including progress of the shore clean-up effort can be found here

Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Singapore Transport Ministry / Chee Hong Tat
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Methanol

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan’s first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, on Wednesday (19 June) said it has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping and Fukuju Shipping for Japan's first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships. 

The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI's proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. 

The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. 

In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.

 

Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 20 June, 2024

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EU ETS

VPS and Normec Verifavia to offer data-driven and verified emissions data

Both firms signed a partnership agreement with Normec Verifavia to support improved vessel data for MRV / EU ETS reporting and beyond.

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VPS and Normec Verifavia to offer data-driven and verified emissions data

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Monday (17 June) said it has signed a partnership agreement with Normec Verifavia to support improved vessel data for MRV / EU ETS reporting and beyond. 

In the face of tightening regulations and focus, VPS said large parts of the maritime industry are in the midst of stepping up their efforts to collect high-quality emissions data from vessel operations. 

“To meet this demand, VPS and Normec Verifavia will offer vessel owners and the wider maritime ecosystem to have indisputable emission numbers produced in a data-driven way,” the firm said.

“For vessel owners, this ensures compliance with upcoming MRV and EU ETS requirements where reported emission numbers need to be verified by a certified verification body.”

The partnership will combine the strengths that VPS have in data-driven decarb and Normec Verifavia´s position as an agile and independent third-party data verifier. The two companies offer a plug-and-play setup, where the vessel owner can experience a seamless and integrated experience in the handling and verification of fleet fuel- and emission numbers. 

 The first step of the partnership is to offer verification for VPS customers using the Maress system for data-driven decarbonisation. Maress is a leading tool in the offshore industry, handling the complexities around fuels- and emissions optimization and assisting crew and onshore personnel in making informed decisions on how to reduce vessel and fleet footprint. Maress is used by a diverse set of stakeholders in the offshore sector, such as vessel owners, contractors, management companies, charterers and more.  

Further, VPS also offers the Emsys technology for precise and real-time measurement of the emissions going through the vessel smokestack. This data can be fed directly to Maress and subsequently verified by Normec Verifavia to provide full control of all aspects of the fuels- and emissions related to vessel operations.

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS, said, "We see a rapid development where the market is no longer willing to take the risk of not knowing -precisely- what the emissions from operations are. We are excited about the fact that the partnership with Normec Verifavia enables all Maress users to get their emission numbers verified. It will literally be a one stop shop for data collection, analytics, collaboration and verified emission reporting."

Yuvraj Thakur, Managing Director & VP Commercial, Normec Verifavia, said: “The maritime industry faces a crucial challenge: achieving transparency and driving progress towards a decarbonised future. Normec Verifavia's collaboration with VPS represents a significant step forward in this direction.”

“By leveraging their expertise in data-driven decarbonization tools like Maress, we can empower asset owners to streamline the entire emissions data lifecycle. This will not only enhance the accuracy of reported data but also significantly reduce the administrative complexities faced by many stakeholders. This collaborative effort strengthens the foundation for a more sustainable maritime industry.”

The ability for Maress customers to verify emission numbers will be immediately commercially available.

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 20 June, 2024

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