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Pakistan’s Orion Bunkers looks to boost bunker sales on LSFO supply ahead of IMO 2020

Pakistan’s Orion Bunkers Ltd. is currently in talks with local refineries to supply 0.5% sulfur-compliant fuels as the deadline for the International Maritime Organization’s global sulfur limit rule for marine fuels nears, the company’s bunker director Zishan Arshad said Wednesday.

“HSFO demand will still be there and our price will remain competitive … [we are also] trying our best to have avails of low sulfur cargo,” Arshad said in a statement to S&P Global Platts.

Orion Bunkers, which currently supplies marine fuels to vessels at the ports of Karachi and Bin Qasim, has an over “80% market share” as far as the country’s bunker volumes are concerned, he said.

The company presently owns four bunker barges and has four chartered barges, which are for fuel oil and gasoil, he said.

Over the past few years, Orion Bunkers has been supplying LSMGO due to impending environmental rules in international shipping, and the existence of emissions control areas, or ECAs, which necessitate their use, Platts reported earlier.

“There is no ECA requirement in Karachi or Bin Qasim. However, most vessels’ next port calls are in those regions where LSMGO is mandatory, therefore they prefer to lift from Karachi and use [it] outside Pakistan waters,” Arshad had said at the time.

Meanwhile, the company is also expecting an uptick in volumes after the return of anchorage delivery on September 15, around the time when the monsoon season ends, Arshad said.

“Bunker fuel quality problems are no more [rampant] in port Karachi and Bin Qasim as our products meet requirement of today’s market which is ISO 8217:2010,” he added.

This could potentially encourage container ships to bunker in Karachi/Bin Qasim, after some of them stopped taking bunkers due to quality issues in the past, he said.
Source: Platts

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