Bunkering suspended in Malta and Gibraltar Strait ports





Bunkering has been suspended in Gibraltar Strait ports, and suppliers in Malta are not taking on any new offers because of a damaged jetty, Engine informs

According to data by Seatrans Shipping agency,  jetty in Valletta has been damaged by rough weather and is expected to limit bunkering in Valletta and in bunker locations off Malta for a week,.

Suppliers in Malta are neither offering or indicating prices for stems at the moment, as they are prevented from reloading fuel from the damaged jetty and oil terminal, a source says. Shipowners are forced to consider moving their ships to other ports and bunker locations to receive bunkers.

Bunker suppliers in Greece’s Piraeus are aware of the damaged jetty in Malta and have seen an increase in enquiries, a source says. There are no definite prospects for how long it will take to fix the damaged jetty.

Bunker operations in Gibraltar, Algeciras, Ceuta and Huelva have been suspended since last week due to strong winds and swells, according to port agent MH Bland. Strong winds and swells are forecast to continue to hit the region until Sunday and then deteriorate again from Tuesday next week.

A huge backlog has already been reported in Gibraltar, with 28 vessels waiting to bunker this morning. That backlog has now been reduced to 16 vessels, in a sign of vessels being diverted to take bunkers in alternative locations.

A vessel was scheduled to take bunkers in Gibraltar, but has now been diverted to the ARA to bunker there as it is already on a voyage to a Danish port.

Alternative bunker locations in the wider Mediterranean region include Las Palmas, Tenerife, Sines, Lisboa, Kali Limenes and Piraeus. Various local sources in Portuguese and Greek ports say they have seen an uptick in demand and have become busier. The Moroccan port of Tanger Med is another nearby option, but it is more congested, a source says.