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NEWS ARCHIVE - 28.07.2012

Bunkering operators attend Forum in Saint Petersburg

The fifth Russian Forum “Current Trends and Highlights in Russian Bunkering Market” was held in Petersburg on June 28-29, 2012. Despite the growing number of events in the shipping industry, many of them held in Saint Petersburg, market professionals know that the deepest insight of the bunkering industry they may get at the Forum organized by the Russian Association of Marine and River Bunker Suppliers.

This is the reason which brought 160 attendees representing all country navigable regions.

The Forum was greeted by the Russian Ministry of Transport.

It is well recognized that conditions under which the industry functions become more and more complicated. Benno Spencer, Team leader, Dirty Products, Platts, in his speech “Changes at the European mazut market and their influence on the Russian market” stated that mazut price is growing and the growth will continue in future bringing its negative impact on industry profitability. The major reasons are well known: modernization of oil processing technologies, closures of certain refineries. The deficit of low-sulphur products is another negative factor.

Presentation delivered by a leading Russian oil processing expert Vladimir Kapustin of VNIIPIneft research and design centre attracted significant interest. Mr. Kapustin provided the following data: the total output of oil processing in Russia was 256.4 million tons in 2011, 69.7 million tons of which were diesel fuel, 70.4 million tons – mazut. Conversion rate was 70.8% against 90% in the world. 

Mr. Kapustin stated that Russian companies began to pay serious attention to modernization of their production facilities. This is the result of strict government control over refinery modernization program. Two plants (hydrotreating of petrol manufactured by catalytic cracking in Yaroslavl and hydrotreating of diesel fuel in Kirishi) of planned 10 are already put into operation in 2012. Modernization of 47 other plants to be commissioned in 2013 – 2015 proceeds according to the schedule. Certain delays exist at 15 plants.

This process inevitably causes drop of mazut production from 73.3 million tons in 2012 to 27.7 million tons in 2020. In 2011 56 million tons of mazut were exported. The export forecast for 2015 is 34.5 million tons, for 2020 – 12.8 million tons only.

Igor Ilyinsky of Marine Engineering Bureau, Ukraine, discussed perspectives of natural gas as marine fuel. Experts discuss a number of various risks arising from liquid natural gas and its vapours on board the ship. However, LNG as the basic fuel for the combined navigation vessels obviously brings significant benefits against use of low-sulphur diesel fuel or HFO combined with scrubber systems. Mr. Ilyinsky assumed that this approach may eliminate sulphur emissions and reduce nitrogen oxides and carbon discharge.

Anatoliy Belov of AS Bominflot Estonia discussed the same issue in his presentation “Bunkering market after 2015. European approach”. He considered technical alternatives as viewed by ship owners and by bunkering operators and emphasized that both parties actively work out practical solutions.

Aleksey Kitikov of Marine Facade of Saint Petersburg was optimistic in his views of Baltic cruise market perspectives. Though Baltic Sea can’t be considered the most popular tourist route compared with Caribbean and Mediterranean basins, the passenger traffic demonstrated steady growth by 12% in 2000 - 2011 (the average world growth is 7%) even during crisis.

Major factors attracting cruise companies to the Baltic Sea are: the cruise starting ports are easily accessible for tourists from Northern Europe, the density of ports is high, infrastructure is good, safety is guaranteed. Small and previously unpopular places demonstrate impressive growth rates: expected passenger traffic in Riga, Latvia, will grow by 42% (up to 90,000 people) in 2012, in Saaremaa, Estonia, by 728%. Though the number of passengers at Saaremaa is only 5,000, the trend is clearly positive.

Saint Petersburg is number two in the top of Baltic ports. Last year about half million tourists visited the city by cruisers.

Professional discussions continued during gala dinner held on Ocean restaurant on board of a motor ship. The guests enjoyed the view of Strelka, one of the best views of Saint Petersburg. The evening was nice and friendly.



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