New Malaysian Player Commences First Bunker Operation, Eyes Worldwide Expansion

Friday November 10, 2017

New Malaysian player Straits Inter Logistics Berhad (Straits) last month commenced its first bunker supply operation. The initial focus of its new business venture will be on Pasir Gudang Port, Johor,and Labuan, but the company also has long-term aspirations of expanding its new business world-wide.

"We currently own two vessels, namely Straits I and Sturgeon, but are looking into increasing the number of existing barges and by doing so it will allow us to be a recognised as a top bunker supplier in Malaysia and eventually worldwide," Richard Ho, Director, told Ship & Bunker in a recent interview.

Initially, Straits is targeting 4,000 - 6,000 tonnes per month of bunker sales in Malaysia and currently offers 500 ppm (0.05%) Low Sulfur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) via ex-barge delivery utilizing 500,000 litres (~450 mt) of storage onboard each of its vessels.

In 2018 service will expand to three other ports in the country, Kemaman, Kuantan, and Labuan Port, while Straits also has plans to take land-based storage at some point in the future.

"Our target customers are mainly OSVs in the Oil and Gas industry; we do however supply to any vessels that would require LSMGO in Pasir Gudang. That includes bulkers, container liners, and more," said Ho.

As Ship & Bunker previously reported, Straits' move into bunkering is a departure from several unrelated business activities that the company formerly known as Raya International Bhd was previously engaged in. 

Still, the company believes there is much potential for the bunker industry in Malaysia, where Straits aims to be known as a "premium" supplier in what it sees as a "very fragmented and unregulated" market.

"There are many companies operating with no full bunkering license, insurance and such. The vessels that these companies use to operate are sub-standard and do not comply with HSE standards. The source of cargo and quality provided by the existing suppliers are also questionable," said Ho.

"In the longer term, we are also looking to expand overseas by acquiring foreign bunkering companies that share the same synergy."