Iran Boasts Over Cheaper Bunkers as it Sees "Great Opportunity" to Boost Operations from New Facility

Friday January 27, 2017

Iran is looking to increased vessel traffic in the Persian Gulf as a "great opportunity" to increase its activity at a new bunkering facility, Azerbaijani media reports.

Bunkering at Iranian ports is said to be as much as $5-7 cheaper compared to the same services provided at the major bunkering port of Fujairah, and approximately 80 percent of the fuel that is bunkered at Fujairah is of Iranian origin, say Iranian officials.

"About 17 shipping companies are sailing to Iranian ports in Persian Gulf and this is a great opportunity to boost bunkering operations. International ships can refuel in Iran’s Qeshm port, 120 miles far from Fujairah, to get cheaper fuel," said Mohammad Saeidi, chairman for Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

Through opening the Qeshm facilities, which was inaugurated January 26, Iran’s annual bunkering capacity is reported to have been boosted to 5.4 million tonnes.

Further, due to reduced gas oil consumption in the Iranian power sector, it is reported that Iran currently has the capacity to export or bunker about 7.2 million tonnes per year.

Fuel oil is noted to account for 40 percent of Iranian refinery output, although the country said to be aiming to decrease this amount to just 10 percent by 2021 - a year after a global 0.50 percent cap on sulfur on marine fuel in implementation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

As Ship & Bunker reported in June, Iran announced it was moving forward with a plan to develop Qeshm Island with a host of new facilities - including its bunkering operation, billed as "the biggest of its kind in the Persian Gulf."