USS Taylor Bunkering in Batumi, Georgia

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, May 12, 2014
USS Taylor, photo courtesy fo U.S. Navy

Marine Fuels supplier arranged Bunker delivery to US navy ship USS Taylor in Batumi port, Georgia.

"Generally, physical bunker supply by tankers is not available in Georgian ports since beginning of 2013. Vessels arriving to Georgian ports are supplied with MGO (Marine Gasoil) by tank trucks, while IFO (Fuel oil) delivery still does not exist", Says Marine Supply & Services specialist in Georgia - Jaba Tarimanashvili.

There are about 2500 port calls annually in Georgia. Batumi and Poti are two main ports, and two oil terminals: Supsa and Kulevi. In the nearest future Georgian government plans to develop the 5th port in Anaklia. Port development is already in progress, and few investors, including US companies participate in the port construction feasibility study and design. Anaklia is naturally deep sea port and will be able to handle Panamax size bulkers, to transship large shipment lots to and from Caucasus, Caspian sea and Central Asia. Market capacity for Bunker sales business in Georgia is estimated as 200 000 tons of Fuel oil and 30 000 tons of Gasoil per year. Additional volumes can be attracted during winter time as Bunkers only call, due to Georgian ports are ice free all year round, while some Russian and Ukrainian ports are freezing during winter.

Georgia is located in the Caucasus region and is a gateway between Europe and Asia. Due to geopolitical location, neighboring oil rich Caspian sea countries, flexible tax administration, and ease of doing business, Georgia has potential to be one of the most attractive spots for bunkering business in the Black sea area. It is also a preferable transshipment place for trading low sulphur Marine Fuels from Caspian. Low sulphur Marine Fuels will have much higher demand from beginning of 2015 and this will grow port attractiveness. Recently 700 000 tons of Kazakhstan origin Fuel oil re-direction for transshipment via Georgian oil terminal Batumi has been announced. The product volumes have been previously shipped via Baltic terminals. There are ongoing large oil & gas exploration projects development in Caspian Sea, which will have additional impact on cargo and ship movement increase via Georgia ports.

As for Bunkering business in Georgia, for the moment only MGO (Marine Gasoil) can be delivered by tank trucks alongside berth. Main source of MGO delivery by trucks is local fuel stations. Quality of product complies ISO 8217:2010 Marine Distillate Fuels, DMA standard and EU directive for max 0.10% sulphur content. Current development in Caspian Sea exploration and refinery sector, backed up with FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with Georgia, Marine Fuel resource owners in the region have interest to co-invest with experienced international physical bunker suppliers to develop full range services availability.


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