Aramco Trading Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s state oil entity, has begun commercial bunkering operations at the Yanbu Industrial Port on the kingdom’s Red Sea coast.
Bunkering refers to the supply of fuel for tankers and ships, which is providedby dedicated vessels.
ATC, which trades in refined products and blending components, will begin bunkering on the western coast in collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry, customs authority and the ports authority, it said in a statement on Tuesday. Yanbu port is located southeast of the Suez Canal, which is a critical chokepoint in the transport and sale of seaborne crude.
“ATC intends to offer a world-class bunker supply service, adopting industry best practices to ensure a safe, reliable and competitive package to shipowners in one of the world’s busiest sea routes,” said Ibrahim Al Buainain, chief executive of ATC.
The company has commissioned MT Halki, a 6,000-deadweight tonnage barge that is equipped with mass flow meters, which measure the volume of product dispensed from the carrier.
The vessel’s first delivery was for 1,600 tonnes of very low sulphur fuel oil to MT Lake Trout.
The International Maritime Organisation has mandated bunkering vessels to abide by its regulations on capping polluting sulphur content released into the world’s oceans.
The storage and blending facilities maintained by ATC at Yanbu have the capacity to meet up to 150,000 metric tonnes of bunkering needs on a monthly basis.
The company has the potential to upscale if needed, it added.
Source: The National