Mustafa Muhtaroglu, Chief Executive, Energy Petrol - Image Credit: Mustafa Muhtaroglu
Bunker sales in Istanbul have jumped a healthy 13 percent year on year, Mustafa Muhtaroğlu, CEO of local physical supplier Energy Petrol has told Ship & Bunker, citing "several reports and market information" on the matter.
Sales in the first 6 months of 2017 are reported to have reached 1.3 million metric tonnes (mt) compared to 1.15 million mt for the period in 2016.
"This is also quite significant that such increase has been achieved without a single bunkering of cruisers who are not calling at Istanbul since 2015," Muhtaroğlu notes.
"More importantly, July and August are always considered the slow months, however there was good demand in Istanbul in the summer so the total yearly volume could reach 2.7 million mt, the highest ever annual total."
Mustafa Muhtaroglu, Chief Executive, Energy Petrol
July and August are always considered the slow months, however there was good demand in Istanbul in the summer so the total yearly volume could reach 2.7 million mt, the highest ever annual total
As for the drivers behind the growth, Muhtaroğlu says high service levels, investment in local bunkering infrastructure, and "trouble free" bunkering have all helped to attract more business. This includes some new large container ships that are now bunkering in Turkey following the introduction of larger bunkering vessels in the port.
"We have to thank our clients for preferring Istanbul for bunkering, and as I always say 'Istanbul is heaven for bunkering' as it has always been a 'trouble free' bunkering port! But I am happy to see others agree this is the case with real figures confirming the positive result of such volume growth, and also Istanbul's position as an important hub in the area," he says.
Regulation changes have also prompted both investment and improvements for bunkering at the port, Muhtaroğlu adds, including the fact that since January 2017 refineries and all bunker terminals have installed mass flow meters (MFMs).
"This supports reliable and safe operations in Turkey, with high levels of customer satisfactory and almost 'zero problem' bunkering," he says.
"Recently, several Istanbul players also invested in new bunker barges and there are total 15 new generation barges built since 2010 when regulations changed. At Energy Petrol we built four new barges and have a total six new generation double double bunker barges providing a fast efficient service."