Bunkering services refer to providing fuel to a ship either afloat or while the ship on a bunkering station. Many components are covered by ship bunkering services. The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of bunkering services, as well as the important factors to think about when providing a ship bunker.
What are Bunkering Services?
Bunkering is the process of providing fuel for propulsion, mainly by other ships’ use (called bunker ship), including the logistics of loading and distributing the fuel on board. A person dealing in the trade of bunker (fuel) is called a bunker trader. The term bunkering originated during the steamship era when coal was stored in bunkers. The term bunker nowadays refers to petroleum products stored in tanks and bunkering to the practice and business of refueling ships. In seaports, bunkering operations include the storage and supply of ship fuel (bunker).
The importance of Bunkering
A bunker is important since it powers a ship’s engine and moves it from point A to point B. When buying bunkers, it is important to choose the right counterpart in order to secure the agreed bunker specification, quality and quantity on delivery. The expense for bunkers represent a large portion of a vessel’s daily OPEX, so it’s critical it’s bought at the right time, supplied as agreed, so the vessel isn’t delayed, and the quality is right so that the vessel doesn’t have problems burning the oil or worse, breaks down.
What is the process of bunkering?
Bunkering can take place onshore or offshore, with the bunkers pumped into the receiver vessel through a bunker hose. Bunkers can be loaded onshore using a tank truck or pipeline station; onshore bunkering is handled by a bunker barge, called STS (ship-to-ship).
What is ship-to-ship (STS) bunkering?
An STS or ship-to-ship transfer refers to the transfer of a ship’s cargo, which can be oil or gas cargo, between two merchant tanker vessels positioned alongside each other. Either the ships can stand still or the STS operation can also be performed while ships are underway. But it requires proper coordination, equipment, and approval to perform such an operation. Both the masters of the ships are responsible for the entire STS operation.
The stages of bunkering operation
The bunkering procedure on a ship can be divided into three important stages:
- Preparation– Preparing for the bunkering operation which will involve the readiness of bunkering equipment, storage tanks, and bunkering safety
- Perform– Performing the bunkering operation in real-time as per the pre-decided procedure and receiving the marine fuel according to the bunker plan
- Wrap-up– Wrapping up the bunkering operation with utmost safety and ensuring the correct amount and quality of bunker fuel has been received onboard from the bunkering facilities (bunker ship or shore truck etc.)
What are the three main types of bunkers?
The most common types of bunkers are Low Sulphur Fuel Oil, High Sulphur Fuel Oil, and Low Sulphur MGO.
What is the cost of bunker fuel?
The price for bunkers depends on what kind of product is required, which port it is required in, and the current price level of the crude oil at the given moment. The market price is traded globally and is altered on daily basis based on numerous factors on a macroeconomic level.
What is the bunker cost in shipping?
It is the cost of the bunkers a vessel consumes to move cargo from A to B. The cost depends on which type of bunker the vessel use, how much is used, and at what market level it has been purchased.
Why choose Karval Shipping Agency for bunkering in Greece?
Our team can undertake all necessary formalities and coordination with the physical bunkering supplier chosen by the owner’s or charterers’ side and arrange the delivery on board once all procedures have been conducted and reported to the Port & Customs Authorities.
In addition, we can provide you with independent Bunkering Surveyors to be on board the vessel during the bunkering operation and take necessary measurements, prepare the respective reporting, and take the necessary oil sample.
Also, bunker oil sample analysis can be carried out in certified laboratories in Piraeus, Greece or to be sent abroad to the designated labs of the owners’ or charterers’ desire.
We support the recent IMO regulations towards CO2 emission reduction and we are closely monitoring the renewable fuels updates to keep our clients informed.