Overview

The marine fuel sector is decarbonising. International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements and EU legislation is driving this change alongside consumer demand for low carbon solutions. 

These drivers have prompted shipowners to invest in alternative marine fuels including; marine biodiesel, bio-methanol, grey methanol, LNG, ammonia and hydrogen.

Argus provides pricing, insights, and intelligence for the fast-growing alternative marine fuels market with independent news, analysis, and market commentary on emerging changes and trends so you can stay ahead.

Argus Market Highlights: Marine Fuels

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Latest alternative marine fuels news

Latest alternative marine fuels news
12/04/24

Gunvor set for buying spree after windfall: CEO

Gunvor set for buying spree after windfall: CEO

London, 12 April (Argus) — Trading firm Gunvor plans to use part of a massive earnings windfall over the past two years to build out its asset base, its chief executive Torbjörn Törnqvist told Argus . "Today, we are under-invested in assets so we will change that," Törnqvist said, adding that investments would be broad based and to some extent opportunistic. "We will employ quite a lot of capital in investments." Independent commodity trading companies are sitting on unprecedented piles of cash after two years of bumper earnings arising from supply chain disruptions and market volatility. While Geneva-based Gunvor is smaller than its peers Vitol, Trafigura and Mercuria, it is still a huge company by most metrics. It reported revenues of $127bn in 2023 and a profit of $1.25bn, following a record $2.36bn in 2022. It has kept most of its earnings in house and had an equity position of almost $6.16bn by the end of 2023 — its highest ever. Törnqvist is eyeing further growth. "We will definitely be a much bigger company, that I can say," he replied when asked where he saw Gunvor in 10 years' time. "I think we will grow in tune with the [energy] transition." Trading firms are looking for ways to keep their competitive advantage, particularly given the uncertainties associated with the energy transition. One emerging trend is an appetite for infrastructure. Vitol is in the process of buying a controlling stake in Italian refiner Saras, which operates the 300,000 b/d Sarroch refinery in Sardinia. Trafigura said this week that it is in talks to buy ExxonMobil's 133,000 b/d Fos refinery on the French Mediterranean coast. Part of the rationale behind these moves is to increase optionality and take advantage of the loss of Russian products to the European market, as well the closure of large chunks of local refining capacity. Gunvor owns the landlocked 100,000 b/d Ingolstadt refinery in Germany and a 75,000 b/d refinery in Rotterdam, where it plans to shift away from fossil fuel use. "Many oil refineries have been up for sale and still are," Törnqvist said. Asked if Gunvor was looking for something similar, he said the company is interested in the "right opportunity" whether in upstream, downstream, midstream or shipping. "It all feeds into what we are doing and all supports our underlying trading," he said. But Törnqvist suspects a lot of Gunvor's growth will come from gas and power — areas where trading companies are already seeing rising profits. The company made its first investment in a power generation asset late in 2023, when it agreed to buy BP's 75pc stake in the 785MW Bahia de Bizkaia combined-cycle gas turbine plant in Bilbao, Spain. It has signed a slew of LNG offtake agreements in the past year and continues to grow its LNG tanker fleet . "We're building logistical capabilities in LNG," Törnqvist said. "Oil is here to stay" Törnqvist said Gunvor is well placed to navigate the energy transition, and is stepping up investments in renewables and biofuels and expanding into carbon and metals trading. "There will be disruptions, there will be different paths to the transition in different parts of the world which go at different paces and have different priorities and ways to deal with it," he said. "This will create opportunities." But Törnqvist is clear that oil and gas will remain an integral part of Gunvor's business. "We feel that oil is here to stay," he said. "And it will grow for several years." By Aydin Calik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Latest alternative marine fuels news

Denmark bans marine scrubbers in its waters


11/04/24
Latest alternative marine fuels news
11/04/24

Denmark bans marine scrubbers in its waters

New York, 11 April (Argus) — The government of Denmark will ban the use of open loop marine scrubbers starting on 1 June 2025 and closed loop scrubbers starting on 1 July 2029 in its territorial waters, 12 nautical miles off its coast. Some ship owners install scrubbers on the smokestacks of their vessels. Scrubbers reduce sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions. Open loop scrubbers take in seawater, which is alkaline by nature, to wash the SOx out of the exhaust. The wash water is then discharged overboard. Closed loop scrubbers use fresh water instead of seawater. Chemicals, such as caustic soda, are added to the water to boost its alkalinity. The water from a closed loop scrubber is then passed through water treatment and recirculated. Residual product from the closed scrubbers are delivered to ports' reception facilities. The open loop "scrubber water discharges a number of problematic substances that accumulate on our seabed and are absorbed into the ocean's food chain and end up in the fish we eat", said Magnus Heunicke, Denmark's minister of environment. Denmark is bordered by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Both seas are designated as emission control areas (ECAs). Vessels travelling in the ECAs are required to burn 0.1pc sulphur maximum marine fuel, typically marine gasoil (MGO). Scrubbers can remove about 98pc of SOx emissions. By utilizing a scrubber, vessels could burn cheaper high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO), which typically has up to 3.5pc sulphur content, and remain ECA compliant. The Skagen, Denmark, MGO-HSFO premium was pegged at $295/t or 52pc premium average from 1-11 April, Argus assessments showed. European countries that had prohibited the use of open loop scrubbers in their territorial waters include: Belgium, Germany, Slovenia and Turkey. European countries that have banned open loop scrubbers in certain ports are: Croatia, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and Whales. By Stefka Wechsler Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Latest alternative marine fuels news

Japan’s Idemitsu, Zen-noh tie up on SAF feedstock


11/04/24
Latest alternative marine fuels news
11/04/24

Japan’s Idemitsu, Zen-noh tie up on SAF feedstock

Osaka, 11 April (Argus) — Japanese refiner Idemitsu has agreed to collaborate with Zen-noh Grain, a US subsidiary of Japan's national federation of agricultural co-operative associations (Zen-noh), to secure feedstock to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Idemitsu will work together with Louisiana-based Zen-noh Grain to establish an SAF supply chain, by developing various types of its feedstocks in North America and bringing some of them to Japan to produce SAF, Idemitsu announced on 11 April. Under the deal, the companies plan to extract oil from soybeans, which Zen-noh handles in Japan and the US, and process it to SAF by using hydrotreated esters and fatty acids (Hefa) technology. The firms are also aiming to develop other non-edible oilseed feedstocks, such as camelina sativa, carinata and winter rapeseed, as off-season soybean crops in North America, while studying possible uses for the leftover residue after extraction of oil from pongamia in Japan. Idemitsu is gearing up efforts to secure sufficient SAF feedstocks to meet its SAF output target of 500mn litres/yr by 2030, by utilising Hefa and alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) technologies. The company plans to start up its first 100mn l/yr ATJ plant at its Chiba refinery in the April 2026-March 2027 fiscal year. It is also considering Hefa SAF production at its Tokuyama petrochemical complex. Japan's demand for SAF is expected to continue rising, to meet its net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 goal. Demand is expected to reach 1.71bn l/yr by 2030, with Japan's trade and industry ministry (Meti) planning to mandate that SAF make up at least 10pc of total jet fuel consumption by volume. Meti forecasts SAF supplies to be 1.92bn l/yr, but there is uncertainty because of feedstock availability and technology development. A number of Japanese firms are attempting to secure used cooking oil (UCO), as UCO is potentially a key feedstock in SAF production. But its supply remains limited. Around 380,000t of UCO was collected in Japan during the April 2021-March 2022 fiscal year, according to the country's federation for UCO recycling co-operatives, UCO Japan. Out of this, 200,000t was used for livestock feed, mostly for chicken, while 120,000t was exported to mainly Europe. To ensure a stable supply of SAF feedstocks, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is planning to conduct a feasibility study to produce SAF from general waste in Tokyo, or industrial waste from inside and outside Tokyo if securing suitable general waste is difficult. The TMG aims to select around three projects through a public tender, which is open for bids from 4-25 April, with a plan to provide up to ¥25mn ($163,169) of subsidies per project. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Latest alternative marine fuels news

Japanese firms target ammonia-fuelled bulk carrier


11/04/24
Latest alternative marine fuels news
11/04/24

Japanese firms target ammonia-fuelled bulk carrier

Tokyo, 11 April (Argus) — A group of Japanese companies plan to work with Germany-based engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions in developing an ammonia-fuelled bulk carrier. Shipping firms Kwasaki Kisen Kaisha (Kline) and NS United Kaiun, trading house Itochu and vessel engineering firms Nihon Shipyard and Mitsui E&S signed an initial agreement on 10 April to develop a pilot 200,000dwt-class bulk carrier equipped with an ammonia-fuelled engine. The vessel will be used to collect data for building future commercial ships. Kline said it is unsure when the pilot vessel will be commissioned and when it will begin operating the ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers. The companies are also currently unsure how much ammonia will be needed for voyages. MAN Energy Solutions and Mitsui E&S will develop the ammonia-fuelled engine, Nihon Shipyard will build the vessel, while Itochu, Kline and NS United Kaiun will manage the ship to collect operating data. Itochu will also be in charge of sharing ammonia supply chain-related information. Japanese shipping firm NYK Line, engine developers IHI Power Systems and Japan Engine, Nihon Shipyard and Japanese classification society Class NK are also attempting to build an ammonia-fuelled ammonia carrier , targeting a commissioning in 2026. By Nanami Oki Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Latest alternative marine fuels news

Japan backs coconuts as alternative SAF feedstock


11/04/24
Latest alternative marine fuels news
11/04/24

Japan backs coconuts as alternative SAF feedstock

Tokyo, 11 April (Argus) — Non-standard coconuts have been registered as a feedstock to manufacture sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) after being promoted by the Japanese government. Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MLIT) suggested ICAO recognise non-standard coconuts, which are discarded and non-edible because of mould and cracks, as an official SAF feedstock under ICAO's Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation. There are 5mn t/yr of non-standard coconuts produced globally, according to MLIT, which can produce around 300,000 t/yr or 380,000 kilolitre (kl)/yr) of SAF. MLIT promoted the use of non-standard coconuts because supplies of SAF's main feedstock used cooking oil (UCO) are tight, with demand for SAF expected to grow rapidly with the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. Diversification of feedstocks is necessary to boost SAF production, said MLIT. Japan's SAF demand is expected to reach 1.71mn kl/yr by 2030, with Japan's trade and industry ministry (Meti) planning to mandate that SAF make up at least 10pc of total jet fuel consumption by volume. Meti also forecast SAF supplies to be 1.92mn kl/yr but there is uncertainty because of feedstock availability and technology development. Japanese companies have attempted to secure stable UCO supplies. Refiner Eneos plans to buy an unspecified volume of UCO from Japanese real estate firm Tokyu Land's shopping centres, hotels and golf clubs. It targets to operate a 400,000 kl/yr SAF plant in west Japan's Wakayama prefecture from the April 2026-March 2027 fiscal year. Japan Airlines has started collecting UCO from households in Yokohama with an aim of starting to produce SAF from 2025. By Nanami Oki Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Argus marine fuel database sample extracts alternative fuels

Alternative fuels vessels and supplier list

Argus lists vessels that are burning alternative marine fuels, including methanol, biofuels, ammonia, hydrogen, LNG, LPG, as well as those running on batteries. The database is updated every month.

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Argus marine fuel database sample extracts scrubbers

Scrubbers

Argus’ scrubber database is the only database to provide granular vessels details such as vessel name, owner, IMO number, deadweight, etc.

The database is updated every month. It contains over 4,300 records and counting.

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Explore our related services

With deep expertise in the markets for future marine fuels, Argus can provide detailed insight for the marine industry as it transitions towards decarbonisation. Here are some of our related services: