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SAMSA: STS fuel transfers remain suspended in Algoa Bay, South Africa after oil spill incident

South African Maritime Safety Authority and several local authorities in Pretoria took several measures to contain an oil spill at sea that occurred on Monday.

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MT Pix 27 May 2022

The following is an announcement on Wednesday (25 May) published on the South African Maritime Safety Authority website informing offshore bunkering services has remained suspended in Algoa Bay near Ngqurha (a.k.a Port Elizabeth) on South Africa’s eastern seaboard, following an oil spill at sea that occurred in the area on Monday. 

Offshore bunkering services, otherwise known as ship-to-ship oil/fuel transfers remain suspended in Algoa Bay near Ngqurha (a.k.a Port Elizabeth) on South Africa’s eastern seaboard as a national incident management structure strengthens its grip on containment measures of an oil spill at sea that occurred at midday on Monday.

This is according to a joint statement by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in Pretoria just after lunch hour on Wednesday, this following several measures undertaken to contain the oil spill – including an aerial surveillance of the coastal region to be carried out twice a day until such time that the authorities are satisfied it is no longer necessary.

According to the parties, the oil spill in the ocean occurred while two tanker vessels belonging to the same bunkering services firm, Minerva, were conducting an oil transfer at about midday on Monday. It had not yet been established what led to the incident, they said.

On being alerted, however, according to the authorities; the country’s oil spill incident management structure immediately launched an oil spill containment and extraction process in place, which included a suspension of ship-to-ship transfers in the period until further notice.

In the statement on Wednesday, said SAMSA/DFFE and TNPA: “Five oil recovery boats are being used to collect the oil and by Tuesday afternoon all the visible heavy oil had been collected while large patches of light oil sheen were spotted in Algoa Bay.

“A helicopter was used for aerial surveillance and to assist in directing the boats towards the oil sheen for collection. However due to rough sea conditions, the oil recovery was suspended by 15:35. The removal of the oil (soaked) “oil absorbent material” between the two vessels continued throughout the night. 

“Aerial surveillance has been increased to two flights per day from today (Wednesday) with a vessel launched (with a) small drone assisting with the clean-up operations and continuous aerial surveillance in the immediate area around the vessel.

“The DFFE offshore patrol vessel Sarah Baartman will arrive in Algoa Bay tonight and will be available to assist with clean-up operations if need be,” they said.

With regards the expanse of the oil spread on the ocean area affected, the authorities said: “Oil spill modelling provided by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) indicates that the oil will not impact the Swartkops River nor (Nelson Mandela Bay) Metro beaches, but will drift eastward towards the beaches of Woody Cape. Beach inspections were carried out on Tuesday and will continue today.”

On fears about the oil soaking wild sea birds in the area; the authorities said in the statement that: “No oiled birds or wildlife have been spotted so far. However, members of the public are requested to report such (sightings) to SANPARKS or SANCCOB Gqeberha at Cape Recife Nature Reserve on 063 942 4702, but not to approach or try to capture the affected wildlife.

Concerning the immediate fate of the two tankers involved in the oil spill incident, the authorities said the vessels were still alongside each other on location of the incident while a decision was being made on how best to further handle them.

SAMSA: STS fuel transfers remain suspended in Algoa Bay, South Africa after oil spill incident

They said: “Although the two tankers are still alongside each other as a preventative measure, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment are evaluating whether it is safe to bring the bunker tanker, MT Lefkas into port today while the motor tanker Umnenga II remain offshore in the bay until a berth is available in the Port of Ngqura. Both tankers are operated by Minerva Bunkering. The exact quantity of oil spilt is still under investigation.

Occurring just 10 days after the country’s multisectoral Interim Incident Management Organisation (IMOrg) under the Department of Transport (DoT) conducted a five day training and live mock oil spillage management exercise near Robben Island, Western Cape, from May 9-13; SAMSA, DFFE and Transnet said Wednesday the unfortunate incident at Algoa Bay this week could not be more appropriately timed as the country was now properly prepared to handle incidents of the nature.

They said: “It is fortunate that the last full-scale joint industry-government oil spill response deployment exercise was held in Cape Town on 12-13 May where the National Oil Spill Response Plan was tried and tested.”

“This exercise helped considerably to ensure that the response for the spill in Algoa Bay was managed in the best possible manner and allowed for the quick deployment of resources to contain the spread of the oil and oil spill modelling. An investigation has commenced to ascertain the cause of the spillage. Bunkering operations remain suspended in Algoa Bay.”

SAMSA: STS fuel transfers remain suspended in Algoa Bay, South Africa after oil spill incident

 

Photo and video credit: South African Maritime Safety Authority
Published: 27 May, 2022

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

Ammonia is touted as the long-term fuel solution, but safety concerns and novel technology could hinder its widespread application.

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SMW 2024: All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges, says panellists

The article ‘All hands on deck to overcome net-zero fuel transition challenges: panellists’ was first published on Issue 4 of the Singapore Maritime Week 2024 Show Dallies; it has been reproduced in its entirety on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times with permission from The Nutgraf and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore:

By Matthew Gan

Ammonia is emerging as the key net-zero fuel of the future, but the maritime industry faces several challenges in its large-scale adoption.

A critical concern is safety. Ammonia poses safety  risks because of the high volume of explosive engine combustions, and the gas’ toxicity.

“Safety is the most crucial thing – both environmental and operator safety,” said Mr Hiroki Kobayashi, Chief Executive Officer at heavy industries firm IHI Asia Pacific, at the Net-Zero Fuel Pathways Panel during the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference on Wednesday.

Given the focus on safety, a substantial proportion of resources should be spent on ensuring ammonia technology is safe, added Mr Nicolas Brabeck, Managing Director at energy provider MAN Energy Solutions Singapore.

What will help, noted Mr Kenneth Widell, Senior Project Manager (Smart Technology Hub) at marine and energy solutions provider Wartsila, is having stakeholders share information on safe ammonia usage.

Another challenge is training seafarers to use novel technology. But panellists agreed that it should not deter the industry from pursuing the widespread adoption of ammonia.

“All this is new to us, but we can start training early, collect feedback, and adjust accordingly,” said Mr Leonardo Sonzio, Vice-President and Head of Fleet Management and Technology at global shipping company Maersk.

Stakeholders should also collaborate more, said Mr Robert van Nielen, Vice-President (Growth) at liquid storage logistics provider Advario. “There are many things to set up – supply chains, logistics, safety protocols and training – but we need to transition. And if we want to make this change in time, we must work together,” he said.

As moderator Mr Knut Orbeck-Nilssen, Chief Executive Officer (Maritime) at registrar and classification society DNV, put it in his closing remarks: “The fuel of the future, really, is collaboration.”

Singapore Maritime Week 2024 was organised by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore from 15 to 19 April. 

 

Photo credit: Knut Orbeck-Nilssen / DNV
Article credit: The Nutgraf/ Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 24 April 2024

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LNG Bunkering

TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

LNG production from LNG liquefaction plant in port of Sohar, as part of Marsa project, is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended for LNG bunkering in the Gulf.

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TotalEnergies announces FID for first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

Energy company TotalEnergies and Oman National Oil Company on Monday (22 April) announced the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the Marsa LNG plant project.

TotalEnergies had signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Oman LNG to offtake 0.8 Mtpa of LNG for ten years from 2025, making the company one of the main offtaker of Oman LNG's production.

Finally, TotalEnergies (49%) and OQ Alternative Energy (51%), the national renewable energy champion, have confirmed being at an advanced stage of discussions to jointly develop a portfolio of up to 800 MW, including the 300 MWp solar project that will supply Marsa LNG.

Through their joint company Marsa Liquefied Natural Gas (Marsa), TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%) launch the integrated Marsa LNG project which combines:

  • upstream gas production: 150 Mcf/d of natural gas, coming from the 33.19% interest held by Marsa in the Mabrouk North-East field on onshore Block 10, which will provide the required feedstock for the LNG plant. Block 10 production started in January 2023 and reached plateau in April 2024. The FID allows Marsa LNG to extend its rights in Block 10 until its term in 2050.
  • downstream gas liquefaction: a 1 Mt/y capacity LNG liquefaction plant will be built in the port of Sohar. The LNG production is expected to start by first quarter 2028 and is primarily intended to serve the marine fuel market (LNG bunkering) in the Gulf. LNG quantities not sold as bunker fuel will be off-taken by TotalEnergies (80%) and OQ (20%).
  • renewable power generation: a dedicated 300 MWp PV solar plant will be built to cover 100% of the annual power consumption of the LNG plant, allowing a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Marsa LNG plant will be 100% electrically driven and supplied with solar power, positioning the site as one of the lowest GHG emissions intensity LNG plants ever built worldwide, with a GHG intensity below 3 kg CO2e/boe. (for reference, the average emission intensity of LNG plants is around 35 kg CO2e/boe - this represents a reduction in emissions of more than 90%).

The main Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts have been awarded to Technip Energies for the LNG plant and to CB&I for the 165,000 m3 LNG tank.

The Marsa LNG project will generate long-term employment opportunities and significant socio-economic benefits for the city of Sohar and the region.

The first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East

The ambition of the Marsa LNG project is to serve as the first LNG bunkering hub in the Middle East, showcasing an available and competitive alternative marine fuel to reduce the shipping industry's emissions. 

“We are proud to open a new chapter in our history in the Sultanate of Oman with the launch of the Marsa LNG project, together with our partner OQ, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the country. We are especially pleased to deploy the two pillars of our transition strategy, LNG and renewables, and thus support the Sultanate on a new scale in the sustainable development of its energy resources”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

“This very innovative project illustrates our pioneer spirit and showcases the relevance of our integrated multi-energy strategy, with the ambition of being a responsible player in the energy transition. By paving the way for the next generation of very low emission LNG plants, Marsa LNG is contributing to making gas a long-term transition energy.”

 

Photo credit: TotalEnergies
Published: 24 April 2024

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Biofuel

Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% bio fuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements, says ABS.

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Carras “Aquataurus” bulker becomes world’s first vessel to receive ABS Biofuel-1 notation

Carras (Hellas) S.A. received the ABS Biofuel-1 notation for its Aquataurus ultramax bulk carrier, the first vessel in the world to qualify, according to the classification society on Tuesday (23 April).

The notation is assigned to vessels that use a biofuel blend of up to and including 30% biofuel in compliance with IMO and ABS requirements.

ABS said biofuels’ suitability with existing power generation systems makes them a drop-in solution without the need for equipment retrofits or vessel redesign. 

The Aquataurus is equipped with a Wartsilla main engine and three auxiliary Yanmar engines and will serve trade routes worldwide.

“We are very proud to support Carras (Hellas) S.A. in their initiative to use biofuels as part of their sustainability strategy. Drop-in biofuels are a ‘here-now’ solution since they take advantage of existing fuel transport and bunkering infrastructure. ABS is well-positioned to use our deep industry knowledge of alternative fuels to support clients along their decarbonization journey,” said Stamatis Fradelos, ABS Vice President, Regulatory Affairs.

“Carras (Hellas) S.A. is pleased to be working with ABS to support our common goal of  reducing fleet emissions for the benefit of the environment. The use of biofuels allows shipowners to reduce their fleet carbon intensity without the cost of expensive retrofits or investments in newbuildings, and we are excited to be pioneers, together with ABS, of obtaining the assignment of the Biofuel-1 notation to Aquataurus,” said Captain Costas Liadis, President of Carras (Hellas) S.A.

 

Photo credit: ABS
Published: 24 April 2024

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