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Thailand’s Prima Marine expands floating storage units business as IMO 2020 looms

Thailand’s Prima Marine Public Company Limited said that it has expanded its floating storage units business to support demand for storing and blending low sulfur fuel oils, as the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 global sulfur mandate looms.

Prima Marine is among the largest fully integrated business operator in oil tanker and oil and petroleum storage in Thailand.

The company invested in two floating storage units, or FSUs recently, Prima Marine said in a report detailing its latest quarterly management discussion and analysis Thursday.

Prima Marine’s latest FSU additions are in line with the company’s strategy to invest in this segment since the end of 2018 and take the company’s new delivered FSU fleet to a total of three so far this year, the company said.

Of the three, two are directed to service major oil traders in Singapore, it said.

Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering port. Its bunker fuel sales in 2018 stood at 49.8 million mt, data from the Maritime and Port Authority showed.

Limited storage capacity in the region and the reduced net effective utilization makes storage a very valuable aspect in the future, industry sources said.

According to traders, around 6 million-7 million mt of low sulfur fuel oil was estimated to be in floating storage in Singapore and nearby waters currently, with another 2 million mt in landed storage, S&P Global Platts reported earlier.

Meanwhile, Prima Marine said that in the third quarter of this year, its floating storage and offloading unit, or FSO, and accommodation work barge had been on-hired with a 100% utilization rate since the end of 2018.

The company continued to provide ship-managed services to its own fleet. The company also managed three out of fleet vessels, which included two VLCC vessels and one Aframax, it added.

As of September 30, the company’s website showed it had 34 small vessels in the domestic trading business and two large vessels –Aframax size– in the international trading business. Its FSU business comprised eight VLCC vessels, its offshore business comprised two FSOs and one accommodation work barge.
Source: Platts

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