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Part II: Integr8 Fuels Bunker Quality Trends 2022 Report

It is 26 times more likely to have an off specification incident in ARA compared to Singapore and still almost four times more likely than in Houston.





Integr8 Fuels, the bunker trading and brokerage arm of Navig8, on Wednesday (14 September) shared with Manifold Times its first Bunker Quality Trends where it examines and compares likelihood of off specification issues across all commercial grades of bunkers and key ports. The following is a continuation of yesterday’s coverage of the report: 

Integr8 Quality Index

The last 6 months have identified a generally improving picture for both VLSFO and HSFO, however, the back story is that the improvement is from historic lows of the Integr8 Fuels Quality Index in Q1 of 2022, a period that coincided with the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian sanctions and the spike in oil prices as can be seen from Figure 6 below which compares Brent crude against Quality Index.

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.12.00 PM
Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.12.34 PM

At the time of writing and given the crack has narrowed only slightly and remains more than $600/MT, these challenges show no real sign of abatement so in the short to medium term we do not expect to see significant improvement in fuel quality or compliance. 

Focus on VLSFO

In the last 180 days, 2.7 % of all VLSFO supplies tested outside of specification (and beyond 95% confidence limits) forlimits) for ISO 8217 table 2 parameters. The data identifies that the risk of Marpol compliance is significantly higher globally than HSFO at 0.8%, however, this does not tell the full story given the elevated risk of non-compliance noted around blending hubs.

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.13.38 PM

Based on the cross section of off specifications, we can identify the hit-rates of high risk off specification matters such as Aluminium and Silicon and TSP 0.1% and 0.4% or between one and four supplies per thousand. Again, these risks are magnified in blending hubs rather than those areas with either simpler blending models or refined products available. Delving a little deeper, and more concerningly in the last 180 days, approximately two thirds of all off specification VLSFO occurrences are because of Sulphur, Water or TSP Issues with Sulphur alone accounting for almost one third of all off specs (Fig 11) and virtually all compliance matters. 

From a global standpoint, VLSFO quality is seen to be good, however, significant regional variances can be noted, none more so than for Belgian and Dutch ports (or ARA) where receivers are at least 10 times more likely to receive a notification of a VLSFO above 0.50% than in Singapore, and more than five times more likely than the rest of the world. (Fig 12)

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.14.15 PM

More worryingly, we notice trends within trends in the case of ARA when we drill down to individual supplier performance and, referring to one anonymized example below, we note that in the case of August 22 to date we have strong grounds to believe over 10% of all deliveries were non-compliant and over 30% of all samples potentially noncompliant. To conclude, four out of ten of all VLSFO deliveries may result in non-compliance when considering data related to this anonymous supplier in ARA. (Fig 13, next page)

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.14.41 PM

At the other end of the spectrum, we can identify examples of suppliers with excellent sulphur compliance who, in the last three months do not have a single sample that exceeded 0.50%Wt. (Fig 14)

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.14.49 PM

Many theories exist as to why some ARA suppliers have such poor quality data when we consider Sulphur, not least the difficulties of buying ex-wharf and the challenges of the fuel even arriving onto the barge with a Sulphur level of 0.50% or lower, given the reduction in Sulphur give-away from a blending perspective in recent months. It is entirely possible this may be due to cross contamination in jetty lines (with HSFO), but this may also be due to other practices onboard the barge. 

Indeed upon investigation of the anonymous poor performing supplier referred to earlier, it was identified that several of their barges were moving storage in-between HSFO and VLSFO with the first delivery post a HSFO movement inevitably testing above 0.5%, no doubt due to the common deck lines (and /or sampling points) onboard the barge. 

Example (Fig 15) – A Barge line contains 3 MT of HSFO clingage and a barge tank 200MT of VLSFO at 0.50% Sulphur. 200MT of VLSFO is then supplied.

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.22.34 PM

It is also entirely possible that the fuel is compliant in such cases given the possibility of cross contamination within sample points, therefore it is essential to ensure that the sample is representative of the fuel supplied and that there is no cross contamination in the continuous drip sampler. However, best practice remains that unless double valve segregation and separate manifolds are available on board the delivering facility, supplying HSFO and VLSFO from the same barge would be considered a substantial risk to quality if identified. 

Expanding on these trends but now considering other parameters, we can also identify similar trends also exist for TSP across ARA when compared to Singapore and other bunkering hubs when considering the likelihood of results testing within tolerance (95% confidence limits 0.11%Wt to 0.15%Wt Incl) or beyond 95% confidence (0.16Wt or higher) in the last 180 days.

Screenshot 2022 09 16 at 1.22.43 PM

The variance across bunker hubs is eye opening. In the case of Fig 16 we can see that we are as much as 26 times more likely to have an off specification incident in ARA compared to Singapore and still almost four times more likely than the second worse hub statistically in Houston.

Interestingly however, the selection of a supplier identified with less risk (based on data available) in ARA would virtually remove this risk entirely and drop the likelihood of a result testing at 0.16%wt or above to the same as Singapore and consequently better than many of the other bunkering hubs worldwide. 

Note: The full Integr8 Fuels Bunker Quality Trends 2022 Report can be found here

Related: Integr8 Fuels publishes its first Bunker Quality Trends Report

Photo credit: Integr8 Fuels
Published: 16 September, 2022

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Interview: Malaysia bunker supplier PSP Marine shares commercial expansion plans

‘IMO 2020 has produced several business opportunities which we are keen to explore as part of efforts to support shipping’s decarbonisation,’ Managing Director tells Manifold Times.





PSP Grace MT

Malaysian bunker supplier PSP Marine (M) Sdn Bhd, established at Port Klang since 2012, is planning to expand its marine fuels business within the coming years, learned Manifold Times.

The company, which currently supplies marine gas oil (MGO), its low sulphur variant (LS MGO), and lubricant oil to vessels calling Peninsula Malaysia ports (including Sabah and Sarawak), is actively looking at market opportunities, says its Managing Director.

“We have stood the test of time and proven ourselves in this industry since our inception,” Soon Thian Fong told the bunkering publication.

“In order for our group to grow, become more resilient, and to tackle more complex and intricate challengers, we are expanding our bunkering business to other ports in Malaysia.

“We have successfully expanded to the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Pasir Gudang Port, Melaka Sungai Udang Port, and Kuantan Port.

“Moreover, we aim to diversify into international petroleum cargo trading. Our target markets are Asian countries with growth and scarce energy supplies such as Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia.”

PSP bunkering collage

Bunker deliveries from PSP Marine are currently supported by three Malaysia-flagged bunker tankers namely PSP Grace (755 dwt, IMO 9056466), PSP Glory (737 dwt, IMO 8403038), and PSP Golden (1,198 dwt, IMO 9079652).

Moving forward, Mr Soon highlights the company to be looking at barge acquisition opportunities and a product portfolio expansion to offer Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO).

“The next two years will be interesting times for our company as we look to execute the expansion plans. IMO 2020 has produced several business opportunities which we are keen to explore as part of efforts to support shipping’s decarbonisation,” shared Mr Soon who noted, “opening of an office in Singapore is also within our sights.”

PSP Group supply locations

Contact details for enquiries are as follows:

Mr. Soon Thian Fong (AZ Soon)
Managing Director
+60 12 699 4488
[email protected]

Jane Ong
Sales Manager
+60 14 609 4488
[email protected]

Marine fuel enquiries
Email: [email protected]

Bunkering locations (West Malaysia)


Bunkering locations (East Malaysia)



Photo credit: PSP Marine
Published: 24 June 2024


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VPS launches Maress Summer Campaign Dashboard to track progress of vessels

Dashboard will enable the maritime industry to follow the development of its maritime emissions saving campaign, Maress Summer Campaign 2024, which is aimed at saving 15,000 tons of CO2.





VPS launches Maress Summer Campaign Dashboard to track progress of vessels

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Thursday (20 June) said it launched its Maress Campaign Dashboard to enable the maritime industry to follow the development of its maritime emissions saving campaign for this year.

It said the Maress Summer Campaign 2024, which started on 1 June and will run for 90 days, is ongoing and is aimed at achieving the goal of saving 15,000 tons of CO2.

“Since our last update, the number of participating vessels has increased from 278 to 303. This is more than doubling of the vessels that participated in the campaign last year,” VPS said in a social media post.

“The industry-wide effort to drive decarbonisation is showing fantastic results, with innovative initiatives and remarkable engagement from vessels across the board.”

It added the main purpose of the campaign is to create collaboration and awareness around emission reductions. 

“This industry-first tool is now open for everyone in the industry to track the collective progress. Updated daily, it provides a transparent and exciting view of the leaders in each category, showcasing the close race towards efficiency gains,” VPS said on the dashboard.

Note: The new dashboard by VPS for the Maress Summer Campaign 2024 can be found here.

Related: VPS to organise Maress Decarbonisation Campaign in 2024
Related: VPS wins OSJ Annual Environment Award 2024 for Maress Summer Campaign
Related: VPS records 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emission cut from campaign with top OSV players
Related: VPS Decarbonisation to kickstart summer campaign to reduce shipping emissions


Photo credit: VPS
Published: 21 June, 2024

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UECC reduces emissions in 2023 by more than doubling bio bunker fuel use

UECC boosted the use of ISCC-certified sustainable biofuel B100 on both owned and time-chartered ships to 14,000 mt last year, up from 6,500 mt in 2022.






United European Car Carriers (UECC) recently announced its progress of using alternative bunker fuels and said it was on track to exceed its goal of a 45% emissions reduction by 2030 after more than doubling biofuel usage across its fleet last year.

UECC boosted the use of ISCC-certified sustainable biofuel B100 on both owned and time-chartered ships to 14,000 metric tonnes (mt) last year, up from 6,500 mt in 2022.

The company achieved a total tank-to-wake emissions reduction of over 60,000 tonnes across its 14-vessel fleet in 2023, of which it is estimated increased biofuel use accounted for 40,000 tonnes, with the remainder coming from LNG. This was a near-250% increase on the emissions cut of 24,200 tonnes achieved in 2022.

TheEuropean sustainable shortsea carrier said it has made significant strides in decarbonisation of its fleet of pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) with the addition of five LNG-fuelled newbuilds and the increased rollout of biofuels in recent years - and this is now showing commercial payback for clients in the light of new green regulations, according to Energy and Sustainability Manager Daniel Gent.

“Consequently, we are well on the way to reach or exceed our 45% emissions reduction target by 2030. This clearly has a positive impact for those bio-supportive cargo owners in terms of reducing costs related to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS),” Gent said.

“Furthermore, 85% of the vessels in our fleet achieved a C-rating last year with the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) and this year we expect all our ships to achieve this rating or above.”

Gent also pointed out the UECC fleet is already in surplus in relation to the requirement for an average 14.5% reduction in GHG intensity by 2035 under the FuelEU Maritime regulation due to be implemented next year.

The environmental performance of UECC’s current fleet of nine owned and five time-chartered PCTCs has been enhanced through delivery over the past seven years of five eco-friendly newbuilds - a pair of dual-fuelled LNG vessels and trio of multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid units.

The use of LNG reduces emissions of CO2 by around 25%, SOx and particulate matter by 90% and NOx by 85%, while the latest battery hybrid newbuilds exceed the IMO target to reduce carbon intensity by at least 40% from 2008 levels by 2030.

UECC is now looking at sourcing alternative carbon-neutral fuels such as bio-LNG and e-LNG for these vessels to further improve their green performance, according to Gent.

UECC’s adoption of alternative fuels has expanded exponentially since the programme was launched in 2020 with piloting the use of biofuel on its vessel Autosky, bolstered by valuable support from owners of its time-chartered vessels, clients such as BMW, fuel suppliers like GoodFuels, industry partners, and parent companies NYK and Wallenius Lines.

“We are now in the fifth year of running our biofuels programme and it has gone from strength to strength. UECC has sought to take a leading role through early-stage analysis of new biofuels to evaluate their potential in terms of technical suitability, sustainability and commercial viability, both  to deliver the best solution for our customers and give the sector a blueprint for assessment and adoption of such fuels based on these three pillars,” Gent explained.

He added that, in terms of sustainability criteria, the company looks for biofuels with the biggest environmental impact, with a typical minimum 90% reduction in GHG intensity from well-to-wake compared with conventional marine fuels. 

UECC has steadily expanded the use of green fuels to cover 30% of its fleet in 2023, up from 18% in 2022, and is on track to achieve 50% coverage this year towards the goal of 80% by 2030, though Gent is confident of surpassing this figure.

He said being proactive in trialling new alternative fuels has also promoted engagement with fuel providers, which has led to UECC’s latest initiative together with biofuel supplier ACT Group as part of an industry collaboration to test the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL)-based biofuel FS.100 that he believes has “great potential for sustainable shipping”.

“Increasing the pool of sustainable drop-in fuels offers a pathway for shipping to achieve rapid emissions cuts on existing vessels. Combining alternative fuels with energy efficiency measures such as hull cleaning and electrification with shore power can further accelerate decarbonisation,” Gent said.

“By progressively advancing the use of alternative fuels, we are reducing emissions exposure for our clients and securing regulatory compliance long into the future, while also promoting industry efforts to reach the net-zero goal,” he concluded.


Photo credit: United European Car Carriers
Published: 21 June, 2024

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