JUNE 10, 2024

Hormuz Marine poised to expand biofuel-blend bunker supply to Omani ports

Hormuz Marine, a key provider of bunkering services in the Sultanate of Oman, says it is ready to provide an environment-friendly blend of bunker fuel for vessels either operating within Oman’s ports or making refueling stops.

The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s landmark delivery of the first shipment of B20 fuel, a blend of 80% diesel and 20% biofuel, to Sohar Port in line with the latter’s efforts to drive the decarbonization of its marine operations.

This initiative was the result of a strategic collaboration between Sohar Port, Svitzer, Wakud, and Hormuz Marine. It was launched as a pilot starting with the refueling of the tugboat ‘Sohar’ with the B20 blend, and will be expanded to include all tugs in Sohar Port’s fleet by the following month.

In remarks to the Observer, Hamza al Hadhrami, Sales & Development Manager at Hormuz Marine, said the company is fully geared to support the biodiesel requirements of other Omani ports in line with their sustainability objectives.

“Hormuz Marine is already prepared logistically to deliver any bio-blend to the other ports of Oman, but in terms of the popularity of the product, it’s still early days. Nevertheless, the market is expected to pick-up soon,” he said.

“In fact, we have been advertising biodiesel to our regular frequent customers as well as advertising the product in various international conferences and exhibitions we have attended and participated in.”

Al Hadhrami praised all the parties concerned for their respective roles in enabling the successful delivery of the maiden shipment of B20 fuel to Sohar Port last week. He explained that the introduction of B20 fuel, known for its 15-20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 20% lower sulfur content, required overcoming several operational challenges. These included obtaining approvals from tug engine manufacturers, blending the product, and coordinating with customs and authorities to manage the non-traditional procedures involved.

The collaboration also reflects Sohar Port's commitment to leading international marine standards, Al-Hadhrami stressed. He noted in this regard Port of Rotterdam’s increased use of biofuel to 30% of the blend – a target that Sohar Port aspires to match or exceed. This ambition is consistent with the port's history of pioneering efforts, such as the recent implementation of Mass Flow Meters (MFM), a first in the region.

Economically, running equipment on biodiesel is costlier than traditional marine gas oil (MGO) due to a longer supply chain and the higher manufacturing costs of biodiesel. However, the authorities are considering fixing prices and funding the product to enhance its appeal and market penetration. This financial strategy aims to offset the higher costs and make biodiesel a viable alternative for ship-owners and charterers, Al Hadhrami stated.

"We at Hormuz Marine are very proud to have played a crucial role in this achievement," said Al-Hadhrami. "This significant milestone was made possible through our dedicated collaboration with Sohar Port and Wakud in the pursuit of developing sustainable energy solutions. Our efforts highlight the importance of green energy in promoting sustainable development in the region. We look forward to continuing our initiatives in advancing the logistics and availability of green fuels and contributing to the broader marine market."

Source: Click here