Germany-based Bomin Group, a leading supplier and trader of
bunker fuel, has started delivering Ultra-Low Sulphur Fuel Oil to vessels
calling in the busy Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region, home to two of
Europe’s busiest ports.
Bomin Group says the ULSFO product has a maximum sulphur content
of just 0.1%, making with MARPOL Annex VI regulations for fuel burned in
designated Emissions Control Areas (ECAs), as well as the impending IMO 0.5%
sulphur limit, which will come into force in 2020.
Deliveries will be carried out by the certified barges which
Bomin employs in the region, the company says. The five state-of-the-art
barges, all of which have fast pumping rates, are operated out of Antwerp, but
also support customers who require bunkers in Rotterdam, Ghent, Flushing, and
other ports across the ARA region.
While the ULSFO product is applicable for current ECA zones,
shipowners and operators also need to prepare to transition their fuel system
from 3.5% sulphur to 0.5% prior to the January 1, 2020 deadline.
“Indeed in the second half of 2019 shipowners would benefit
economically from consuming 0.1% fuel to clean their high-sulphur fuel-systems
rather than cleaning, or needing to dry-dock pre-2020 to ensure compliance with
0.5% sulphur in 2020,” Bomin said in a statement. “Without cleaning or
conducting several voyages on 0.1% fuel, shipowners risk not being compliant in
time,” the company added.
Angela Beyens, Commercial Manager, Bomin Belgium, commented: “We
are pleased that we can offer our customers a high quality product which is not
only compliant with the current ECA rules, but also the upcoming 2020
regulations. Bomin is committed to working in partnership with our customers to
provide the highest level of service standards, maximizing operational and cost
efficiencies, as well as ensuring the delivery of quality products where our
customers need them.”
Jan Christensen, Head of Global Bunker Operations, Bomin Group,
commented: “ARA is one of the most important regions for our customers, with
real demand for a full spectrum of quality products and the provision of ULSFO
will ensure that we can continue to provide the energy they need to compliantly
fuel all their operations.”
The Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Belgium’s Port of
Antwerp are Europe’s first and second busiest ports, respectively.
With 2020 emission regulations just round the corner, Bomin Group’s bunker operations will bring a
great relief at least to the vessels calling these two busiest ports.
It may be remembered that the analysts still express the view
that the industry is not adequately prepared for the new sulphur cap
regulations. They speculate about the availability of LNG for the global trade
and the cost involved in modifying the infrastructure of the ports.
IMO appears to have dug its heels with regard to the new
regulations sending a clear message that the industry must be ready for the
fuel shift and the deadline is the deadline.