Kuala Lumpur - Belgian tanker operator Euronav signed a service agreement making Malaysia’s Linggi Port its supply base providing low-sulphur marine fuels and other services for ships plying East-of-Suez routes, the port operator said.
“Linggi has a massive advantage, (being) right next to one of the busiest shipping lanes with deep waters to accommodate large ships,” Alex Staring, chief operating officer at Euronav, told Reuters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony. “And there is no congestion, offering the flexibility to anchor immediately.”
The agreement also covers related services including supplying crews and provisions. The announcement comes shortly after Euronav, one of the largest tanker companies in the world, sent one of its two ultra-large crude carriers (ULCC) to Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) for floating storage with 3 million barrels of 0.2% and 0.5% low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO), operator T.A.G. Marine SDN BHD said in a statement.
Ship owners must cut emissions by reducing the sulphur content in fuel to 0.5% from 3.5% under rules set by the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization that come into effect in January. Euronav has already provided 15 LSFO bunkering operations for vessels in its fleet since the Oceania arrived in Linggi on Sept. 30. The 420,000 tonnes of bunker fuel it had on board should meet its demand requirements for about 8-9 months, Staring said. Euronav will initially only supply bunker fuel to its own fleet but is already in discussion with other operators, Staring said.