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IMO 2020: Key Questions for European Bunkering Ports

According to OPEC (based on 2015 data) 60 per cent of the world’s marine fuels are supplied in just six countries: Singapore, China, the US, the UAE, the Netherlands and South Korea.[1]

Rotterdam and the wider ARA range remain the foremost bunker physical supply location in Europe, delivering a full range of marine fuels ex-pipe, ex-truck and by barge. Investment in new fuels such as synthetic marine fuel oil and LNG has been taking place. Similarly investment in improvements to current supply such as mass flow measurement have improved the quality and efficiency of supply while digital documentation has cut administrative costs.

In advance of the changing emission regs entering force on 1st Jan 2020, ship owners and operators are already starting to switch demand out of fuel oil, as these data show, but over 80 per cent of Rotterdam deliveries remain residuals rather than distillates.

Rotterdam and indeed all European ports face the same challenges as bunkering ports around the world in light of the IMO 2020 rules change on sulphur content, including but not limited to:

  1. Who will profit from using heavy fuel oil and scrubbing the emissions?

  2. In a world where ‘no size fits all’ will bunker supplier mergers continue to be in fashion as only larger companies will command the scale required to hold a wider range of inventory?

  3. If marine fuel suppliers invest in the wider variety of marine fuels likely to be in demand after 1st Jan 2020, will they be able to match demand?

  4. And if ship operators make what they believe to be the best choices to maintain compliance, will they be able to secure supply on a spot basis, or will forward purchases become more prevalent?

Looking for answers? Contact us to find out more about our dedicated IMO 2020 news and analysis service, or to reserve a place on one of our upcoming IMO 2020 webinars.

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