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UPDATE 2: Rotterdam bunker spill incident

About 150 mt of 200 mt of spilled oil cleared by Tuesday morning, says Port of Rotterdam Authority.




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The Port of Rotterdam Authority Tuesday provided an update on the current bunker spill situation.

The current situation on Tuesday, 26 June, 10.00 am are as follows:

  • The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s initial priority is the clean-up of the port water and contaminated vessels. This is taking priority to enable the vessels to enter and leave the ports and for the logistics chain to resume.
  • Approximately 150 tonnes of the 200 tonnes of spilled oil had been cleared by Tuesday morning.
  • It is expected that the above-mentioned clean-up operations will continue for several days. This work is being carried out by a specialist company, operating with 6 special oil spill response vessels.
  • A washing facility has been operational in Geulhaven since Sunday evening (photo) to clean the over 50 inland vessels, with some 8 vessels being cleaned so far. The washing facility capacity for inland vessels was doubled in Geulhaven on Monday afternoon to enable two vessels to be cleaned simultaneously.
  • A washing facility for sea-going vessels opened on Monday afternoon near buoy 66 in the Botlek area. The first sea-going vessel has now been cleaned and has continued on its voyage. A further 14 contaminated sea-going vessels still need to be cleaned.
  • After cleaning the port water and the vessels, a start will be made to clean up the contaminated port infrastructure, including jetties, slopes, banks and embankments. This is expected to take at least several weeks.
  • The 3rd Petroleumhaven has now been partially released by the Harbour Master to enable a partial resumption of shipping. The west section and entrance to the 3rd Petroleumhaven have been reopened. The south section of the 3rd Petroleumhaven and the Geulhaven are still closed.
  • The Port of Rotterdam Authority is doing everything it can to release (sections of) the closed areas as quickly as possible.
  • The Harbour Master is at the scene to regulate inbound and outbound shipping traffic.
  • To prevent the spread of the oil, the south section of the 3rd Petroleumhaven is still enclosed by oil booms.
  • All oil booms have now been removed on the north side of the river. The ports of Maassluis, Vlaardingen and Schiedam have now been reopened.
  • The Harbour Coordination Center (HCC) is providing companies, shipping companies, shipping agents and skippers with regular updates on the status of operations.
  • Rijkswaterstaat will be opening a site close to Maassluis today to receive and clean oil-soaked birds. The site is close to the Maeslantkering on the north side of the river.

Related: Bunker spill at Rotterdam, shipowner held responsible
Related: UPDATE: Rotterdam bunker spill

Photo credit: Port of Rotterdam Authority
Published: 27 June 2018


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Alternative Fuels

Argus Media: New ISO 8217 eyes wider scope for alternative bunker fuels

New edition will incorporate specification standards for a wide range of Fame-based marine biodiesel blends up to B100, 100pc HVO, as well as synthetic and renewable marine fuels.





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The 7th edition of ISO 8217, to be published in the second quarter of this year, will outline a broader integration of marine biodiesel blending, delegates heard at the International Bunker Conference (IBC) 2024 in Norway.

24 April 2024

Tim Wilson, principal specialist fuels of Lloyds Register's fuel oil bunkering analysis and advisory service (FOBAS), presented on the upcoming iteration of the ISO 8217 marine fuel specification standard, which will be released at IBC 2024. 

The new edition will incorporate specification standards for a wide range of fatty acid methyl ester (Fame)-based marine biodiesel blends up to B100, 100pc hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), as well as synthetic and renewable marine fuels. 

This will also include additional clauses to cover a wider scope, and briefly touch on biodiesel specifications that do not entirely align with road biodiesel EN-14214 specifications. This follows the emergence of widening price spreads for marine biodiesel blends because of specification differences and the lack of a marine-specific standard for the blends.

The new edition of ISO 8217 is also expected to remove the limit of 7pc Fame when blended with distillate marine fuels such as marine gasoil (MGO) which was in place in the previous ISO 8217:2017. 

Other changes to distillate marine biodiesel blends include changes to the minimum Cetane Index, oxidation stability alignment to be connected to either ISO 15751 for blends comprising 2pc or more of Fame biodiesel and ISO 12205 for blends comprising a Fame component of under 2pc. 

Cold-filter plugging point (CFPP) properties will be determined by the vessel's fuel storage tanks' heating capabilities and requirements will be set in place to report the CFPP for distillate marine biodiesel grades, according to the new edition of the marine fuel specification standard.

Wilson said that a minimum kinematic viscosity at 50°C will be in place for various forms of residual bunker fuel oil along with a viscosity control alerting suppliers to inform buyers of the exact viscosity in the supplied fuel. He said they have seen delivered fuel viscosity come in at much lower levels than ordered by the buyers, which was the reasoning behind the viscosity control monitoring requirement.

By Hussein Al-Khalisy


Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 25 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.





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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Methanol Institute: Progress as a marine fuel continues across supply chain (Week 15, 8-14 April 2024)

Some quarters of the industry continue to express high level issues around bunkering quality standards, training and availability.





RESIZED Methanol Institute logo

Chris Chatterton, Chief Operating Officer of The Methanol Institute, provides an exclusive weekly commentary on developments related to the adoption of methanol as a bunker fuel, including significant related events recorded during the week, for the readers of bunkering publication Manifold Times:

Methanol’s positive progress as a marine fuel continues across the supply chain and shipping sectors, with buyers, suppliers and users all advancing plans for adoption and safe handling.

Some quarters of the industry continue to express high level issues around bunkering quality standards, training and availability – all issues that MI has either completed work on or can provide insight and support.

Elsewhere, work continues to increase the reach of methanol as a fuel and its role in lower carbon emissions. With an increasing share of the industry capable of using methanol as fuel, more designs are coming off the drawing board or achieving class approval, increasing the options for maritime industry stakeholders.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 15 of 2024:

VPS Panel Session Highlights Challenges with Methanol Bunker Fuel Adoption in Shanghai

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: A recent seminar organized by VPS in Shanghai focused on the use of methanol as a marine fuel, where various industry experts discussed its challenges and advancements. Key participants included representatives from Chimbusco, the Methanol Institute, Green Marine Group, VPS, DNV, and GARD. They covered topics such as the limited availability of green methanol, the need for methanol bunkering standards, and the importance of safety and training in handling new fuels. Chimbusco highlighted efforts to improve methanol supply at ports and develop quality standards. The Methanol Institute addressed the market gap between methanol supply and demand, noting the increasing number of vessels needing methanol. Green Marine Group emphasized safety in the maritime energy transition, particularly with new fuels like methanol and ammonia. VPS and DNV discussed ensuring safety and quality in methanol bunkering, leveraging existing industry standards. Lastly, GARD spoke on the changing risk profiles due to new fuels, stressing the importance of crew training and insurer engagement to manage these risks effectively. This session underlined the collaborative effort required to support the maritime industry's shift towards decarbonization while maintaining safety standards. 

Blueprints Revealed for Cruise Ship Powered by Wind and Methanol

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: Norway-based YSA Design has introduced a concept for a sustainable catamaran cruise ship named Seabreeze, catering to luxury cruise guests. This innovative design features transparent bays between the hulls, allowing guests to view the sea directly beneath them. The ship combines environmental friendliness and modern technology by utilizing foldable sails and engines that run on biomethanol for propulsion. Additionally, it includes a hybrid drive system for silent running on battery power. Designed to accommodate 200 guests and 155 crew members, the Seabreeze's dimensions allow it to navigate shallow waters, making it ideal for reaching less accessible destinations. This project reflects the cruise industry's shift towards sustainability and the need to offer unique experiences to environmentally conscious travellers.

Maersk's New Boxship Takes On Methanol for the First Time in China

Date: April 12, 2024

Key Points: The new 16,000 TEU container ship from AP Moller-Maersk, named Astrid Maersk, has recently completed its first methanol refueling in China at the port of Yangshan, Shanghai. This event, announced on Maersk's website, marks a significant milestone as it represents the first instance of green methanol bunkering in the country. The vessel, which was just named last week in Yokohama, is part of Maersk's commitment to sustainability and its efforts to lead in decarbonizing global logistics. Silvia Ding, Maersk's Managing Director for Greater China, highlighted this event as a critical development in building the necessary green methanol infrastructure and emphasized the company's dedication to innovative solutions for a greener future.

Bureau Veritas Grants Approval for Methanol Fuel System

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: Bureau Veritas, a classification society, has given preliminary approval to a methanol dual-fuel system designed by Sasaki Shipbuilding for a 9,000 DWT general cargo vessel. This approval in principle (AiP) underlines the feasibility of using methanol as a sustainable fuel option not only for larger ships but now also for smaller vessels. This achievement highlights Sasaki Shipbuilding's ongoing efforts to innovate within the maritime industry by developing ships that can utilize alternative fuels, thus contributing to the industry’s broader sustainability goals. This move reinforces the potential of methanol for environmentally friendly propulsion across various maritime applications.

Development of Methanol Bunkering Platform Scheduled for China

Date: April 4, 2024

Key Points: Green Marine is set to enhance the methanol fuel market in China with the launch of a new trading platform, following a strategic agreement with the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Lingang Special Area Administration. This initiative will feature the creation of a methanol bunkering training and certification center in Lingang and the development of an online "Green Fuels Trading Platform." This platform will provide essential tools for managing methanol price fluctuations and facilitating methanol transactions, aiming to improve the allocation of green fuel resources in Shanghai and establish a top-tier green shipping fuel service ecosystem. The move comes as methanol gains popularity as a marine fuel, with increasing demand from various shipping segments. Efforts are being intensified to scale up the green methanol supply to meet the needs of new methanol-fueled vessels entering service.

Upcoming Product Tankers to Feature Batteries, Wing Sails, and Methanol Engines

Date: April 11, 2024

Key Points: A new series of refined product tankers set to be introduced in Europe will be equipped with various advanced features aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability. These vessels will incorporate a battery system, wind-assisted propulsion, and methanol-fueled engines, as announced by the French shipping company EuroGreen Maritime, which has entered into a seven-year charter agreement with Norway's Equinor. Designed by LMG Marin France, these dual-fuel MR IMO II chemical tankers will also feature OceanWings® for reduced fuel consumption, a large battery pack for better power management, and a shore power connection to minimize emissions during port operations. Managed by V.Ships France and flagged under France, the tankers are scheduled for delivery from the Wuhu Shipyard in Weihai, China starting in the first half of 2026. This initiative is part of EuroGreen and Equinor's broader strategy to diminish the environmental impact of maritime operations. 

Green Fuels Powered 3% of Maersk's Container Shipments in 2023

Date: April 12, 2024

Key points: AP Moller-Maersk reported an uptick in its use of green fuels for shipping containers, with 3% of its shipments in 2023 powered by such fuels, up from 2% in the previous year. The company aims to increase this to 25% by 2030, defining green fuels as those that achieve at least 65% reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels. The recent increase was primarily fueled by higher usage of biofuel blends and the incorporation of methanol-fueled vessels, including one 2,100 TEU feeder vessel and two 16,000 TEU ships. Maersk is actively working on securing more green methanol and other sustainable fuels to meet its future goals and is also exploring the use of green ammonia and other potential eco-friendly fuels for future operations.


Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 24 April 2024

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