Bunkering at Egyptian Port of Sokhna to Begin July 1

Tuesday February 21, 2017

Abdelkader Darwish, Vice Chairman of the General Authority for the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SC Zone), Monday said that the authority intends to see bunkering operations at the Sokhna port begin by July 1, 2017, Platts reports.

Darwish says bunker suppliers have been invited to submit applications for supply licenses at the port by April 7.

The port is also said to be seeking lube oil suppliers, as well as slops and sludge collection, with successful suppliers required to obtain necessary approvals from the Technical Committee and have an Egyptian legal entity, and be registered within the SC Zone.

Having been expanded in recent years, Sokhna port is said have the potential to become a new bunkering centre, as it is passed by about 17,000 ships each year.

Robin Meech, Chairman of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) and Managing Director at Marine & Energy Consulting, has said that the SC Zone offers a number of advantages at Sokhna, including bonded operations, 100 percent foreign ownership, as well as repatriation of profits.

However, Meech notes that Egypt has a price disadvantage compared to other Eastern markets, as it is dependent on oil products imports.

In 2015, Sherif Ismail, then Egypt's minister of petroleum and mineral resources, said the Suez Canal Axis Development plan would propel the country toward a new phase of economic growth through increased bunkering activity and the trade and transport of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas.