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John Fredriksen forms bunkering joint venture with Trafigura

John Fredriksen is taking IMO 2020 fuel considerations into his own hands. The Norwegian tycoon’s dry bulk and tanker companies – Golden Ocean and Frontline – are forming a bunkering joint venture with commodities giant, Trafigura.

Golden Ocean and Frontline will hold 10% and 15% interests in the JV, respectively and Trafigura will contribute its existing physical bunkering activities to the JV.

The joint venture is expected to commence operations in the third quarter of 2019, with IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap kicking in, and it will act as the exclusive purchaser of marine fuels for Trafigura, Golden Ocean and Frontline, as well as certain other Fredriksen entities.

Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, CEO of Golden Ocean Management and Robert Hvide Macleod, CEO of Frontline Management, jointly commented: “It is anticipated that IMO 2020 will create logistical marine fuel supply issues for shipowners globally. In addition to presenting a compelling economic opportunity, our participation in the JV will ensure our ability to source and acquire marine fuels at competitive prices on a continuous basis.”

Jeremy Weir, Trafigura’s executive chairman and CEO, commented: “Today’s announcement represents a further progression in the development of Trafigura’s response to the challenges and opportunities the impending IMO 2020 regulation will present.”

Kenneth Dam, Trafigura’s co-head of bunkering added: “We believe that marine fuel market disruptions will be brought on by the implementation of IMO 2020 regulations and that the JV’s increased base volumes and greater access to both infrastructure and credit will provide increasingly competitive bunkering supply services to our customers.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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