Greece-headquartered fuel supplier Aegean Marine Petroleum Network is launching a bunker operation in South Africa’s Algoa Bay after securing the permission from the South African Maritime Safety Authority.
Aegean says to be the first company able to offer fuels outside port limits in the country.
The company is to deliver bunkers and perform ship-to-ship transfers in Algoa Bay, an area that includes two ports, Port Elisabeth and Coega. Aegean added that it has also obtained bunkering licences from Transnet National Ports Authority in these ports.
“The launch of bunkering operations in Algoa Bay is consistent with our strategy to opportunistically enter new markets. This strategic expansion allows us to take advantage of compelling market dynamics while simultaneously providing customers with a faster, more efficient and affordable alternative in the region,” E. Nikolas Tavlarios, President of Aegan Marine Petroleum Group comments.
Aegean has established a local private company, Aegean Bunkering Marine Sevices, to look after its business in the country.
Due to the strategic position of the region, approximately two million metric tons of bunker fuel is sold annually in South Africa, as Aegean points out.
A few years ago, bunkering operations were banned in South Africa as the vessels were not allowed to bunker while working. Having begun in 2013, the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) joined forces with the South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) as well as with various economic developing agencies to encourage growth in this sector. In the same year, SAMSA granted provisional permission to Aegean Marine to deliver intermediate fuel oil (IFO) in Algoa Bay OPL area.