Sinopec is pushing ahead with plans to become a dominant supplier of very low sulphur fuel oil with Reuters reporting the Chinese energy giant is about to execute plans to order 50 bunker barges for delivery over the next three years as well as chartering in an additional 50 barges.
Sinopec has made clear it wants to take market share away from existing big names in bunkering with goals set to deliver 10m tonnes of IMO-compliant fuel next year and 15m tonnes by 2023, also with the aim of turning Zhoushan, to the south of Shanghai, into a major bunkering hub to rival Singapore.
The barges – all set to be Chinese-built – will be run by Shihua Nanjing Tanker Co, a joint venture between Sinopec Fuel Oil Company and state-run Nanjing Tanker. The joint venture currently operates 10 barges.
Sinopec moved its global bunker fuel center to Zhoushan from Beijing in May 2018 and a host of other bunker-related firms have followed suit. Sinopec is now in a position to supply low sulphur fuel at all the major ports in China as well as 50 overseas ports.