Singapore. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker
Three major bunker players are considering a move into the Singapore marine fuels market.
Mercuria, Trafigura and GP Global are cited by Reuters to be applying for licences to operate as bunker suppliers in the southeast Asian bunkering hub, moves some will presumably see as natural developments for the firms.
With Mercuria's bunker supply unit, Minerva Bunkering, having emerged last year from the reorganization of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network it already has a strong physical supply history in Singapore.
Forty-four companies are currently licenced with the port's maritime authority
Aegean was a one-time top-20 ranked supplier in the country but exited in 2018 after 11 years of operations there citing "extremely competitive" market conditions. Now looking to claw back the business lost during Aegean bankruptcy, in October Minerva also acquired two Singapore bunkering tankers from Brightoil.
Trafigura, meanwhile, last month announced its new Singapore-Based bunkering arm TFG Marine PTE Ltd, a joint venture with shipping firms Golden Ocean and Frontline.
In addition, two China-based companies have also submitted applications, according to the report.
The possibility of a handful of new entrants comes at a time when the number of participating bunker companies in the Singapore market is shrinking.
Forty-four companies are currently licenced with the port's maritime authority, a number which is nearly half that of a decade ago.