OW Bunker, a physical distributors and resellers of marine fuel, announced the launch of physical distribution operations in Los Angeles and Long Beach, further expanding its presence in North America. The move comes less than 18 months after launching a physical offering offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a recent deal signed in February 2014 with UNIPEC America to provide products at the BOSTCO fuel oil terminal in Houston.
Adrian Tolson, Regional Manager, OW Bunker North America, said, “Expanding our operations into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is a natural evolution as we look to grow our presence and support for our customers within North America. Providing a fully integrated, and end-to-end physical solution for our customers that drives efficiencies into their operations, and is flexible to suit the demands of their businesses, is central in helping them to manage fuel costs and operate profitably.”
In combination, Los Angeles and Long Beach remain the largest container ports in North America, with just under 15 million TEUs per year. Marine fuel distribution potential remains significant, and Los Angeles and Long Beach will likely take on a key supply role for distillate fuels. OW Bunker is establishing a presence to ensure customers are well prepared and have access to quality products ahead of the 2015 0.1% emissions control area (ECA) regulation.
Continues Tolson said, “With the impending 2015 ECA regulation, it is vital that customers have a clear strategy and plan for the procurement of quality distillates to ensure compliance. Our role is to actively work with customers to implement this, guaranteeing supply in the locations where they need them and in the most cost effective and risk averse way.”
Operational from April 2014, OW Bunker will take storage at the VOPAK storage terminal in Los Angeles, and will work in close cooperation with barging company, Westoil Marine Services. OW Bunker aims to supply customers in the region with a full range of quality products, includingRMG380 (HSFO and LSFO), RMK500, RMK700 and MGO. Supplies of fully-tested and independently verified products will be made to customers at all berths and anchorages in Los Angeles and Long Beach. This ensures customers receive the most efficient service possible, saving both time and money. Deliveries will be further strengthened by David Fanning, a 5395 dwt, 2008-built double-hulled bunker barge that will supply customers in the region with a full range of quality products. The vessel has fast pumping rates averaging 715 mt per hour ensuring customers receive the most efficient service possible.
Tolson concluded, “While we are starting to see the green shoots of recovery within the shipping industry and related sectors, there are still challenges particularly within the unique North American market. However, we believe that fuel distributors with the financial strength, infrastructure and ability to innovate have a critical role to play in helping owners and operators to take these challenges in their stride and capitalize on the inevitable opportunities that change always brings. Not just from a liquidity perspective, but by calibrating our physical operations to ensure quality and value at every step of the fuel supply chain. This is the foundation of our global physical distribution strategy, and how we will work with customers in our new operation in LA and Long Beach.”