Aegean Launches New Bunkering Vessel in South Africa

Monday July 18, 2016

Aegean Marine Petroleum Network (Aegean) has deployed a new R200 million ($13.93 million) bunkering vessel, the MT Lefkas, in South Africa's Port of Port Elizabeth, to provide bunkering services to ships in Algoa Bay, local media reports.

The announcement comes alongside news of the vessel's reflagging ceremony, which was held Wednesday, switching from a Liberian flag to a South African one - a move said to support South Africa's goals of becoming a shipping nation.

MT Lefkas is said to have a 6.8 million litre capacity, and will supply ships using fuel taken from a larger tanker anchored offshore.

"On average, anywhere where a bunkering station exists, the city's income could increase by 19 percent. For the local economy, the income potential is huge. The port, at full capacity, could rake in R5-million ($350,000) for anchorage every month," said regional manager Kosta Argyros,.

"The registration of the vessel is not restricted to our bunkering operations only but also introduces many economic benefits for the people of Port Elizabeth such as surveying, offshore services and crew changes (more traffic through the airport), hotel accommodation and light and heavy manufacturing."

MT Lefkas is said to be part of a R1.6 billion ($110,000 million) investment by Aegean, which includes three bunkering vessels, as well as a larger fuel tanker.

As Ship & Bunker previously reported, Aegean launched its new bunkering operation in Algoa Bay last March.