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Port of Rotterdam Points to Dramatic Rise in Sale of Low-Sulphur Bunker Oil

The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest bunker port, has seen a major spike in the sale of the new very low sulphur fuel bunker oil (VLSFO) with a maximum 0.5% sulphur.

The port authority said that half of all November bunker sales were for VLSFO, citing data from its new TimeToBunker App.

The data shows a major rise from VLSFO sales in September this year which stood at 1,700 tonnes, to October and November which hit 32,000 tonnes and 95,000 tonnes respectively.

“This means that the VLSFO percentage within total fuel oil sales grew from 1.8% in September to 51.6% in November,” the port authority said.

Ronald Backers, the port authority’s bunkering expert, suspects that this trend is representative for all bunker sales in Rotterdam.

“The TimeToBunker App has been used since February and is a huge success. Over a third of all bunkering notifications run via the app. I see no reason to assume that companies that still make standard bunkering notifications have completely different clients with completely different fuel oil purchasing behaviour,” he said.

The trend is believed to be linked to the preparations for the compliance with the 2020 sulphur cap, which will mandate the reduction of sulphur content in marine fuel oils from 3.5 % to 0.5 % on the world’s oceans.

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