BMS United, Bunkernet and SBI to Merge Under New Brand Baseblue

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Tuesday February 14, 2023

Marine fuel firms BMS United, Bunkernet and Sea Bunkering International (SBI) are set to merge under the new brand of Baseblue.

The merger is effective immediately, but a transition period will be in effect up to the end of April, the companies said at a press conference on Tuesday. Baseblue covers about 5 million mt/year of bunker sales, and existing customers will not experience any change in daily operations during the transition beyond the change in company name and logo.

Lars Nielsen, previously group executive director of BMS, will serve as the new firm's CEO, based in Greece. Bunkernet Managing Director Gregoris Gregoriou will be CCO, and SBI General Manager Dave Gregory will be managing director of Baseblue North Europe.

Baseblue will be a wholly owned unit of Bunker Holding, but the three firms have been pursuing the merger under their own auspices, Nielsen told Ship & Bunker at the press conference.

"It will be owned by Bunker Holding, but the strategy that we have, we have formed ourselves and had approval from our shareholders to go down that road," Nielsen said.

"The more we talked about it and the more we thought about it, we all became very enthusiastic about it until we were quite convinced that it's the right thing to do."

Varied Skillsets

The new brand is seeking to bring together the varied skillsets of its three constituent parts, Nielsen said.

"BMS United is a company that is well established in three continents, and has more than 30 years of history and a very well-established client portfolio with some prestigious clients," he said.

"Bunkernet is a company that has been performing very highly, also working closely with a number of first-class clients, and Bunkernet has been very much at the forefront of digtal partnerships and the development of digital into bunkering.

"SBI, on the other hand, is a very old and reputable company in the Netherlands which brings to the table a good portfolio including North Sea offshore business as well as, very importantly, a presence and established trading experience in the new green fuels markets."

The new brand will have offices in Greece, Argentina, Cyprus, Hong Kong and the Netherlands, with a staff of more than 80 employees.

"Baseblue will deliver holistic and integrated bunkering and lubricant solutions, alternative fuel options, risk management consulting, quality testing, surveying and unique post-fixture service for a vessel's end-to-end coverage," the company said.

"Thanks to its post-fixture team and digital tools, customers will receive constant input and the ability to track a vessel's progress in real-time.

"These proactive procedures will reduce potential issues and waiting time significantly."

Decarbonisation Strategy

Decarbonisation will be a key focus for the new firm, Nielsen said.

"This is something that we have decided that we want to grow in," he said.

"Particularly with our new colleagues in the Netherlands, we have people who know very well the green market and decarbonisation."

Patrick Benink, a bunker trader at SBI, told Ship & Bunker at the press conference that the new firm would be able to deal in some of the new fuels 'from day one'.

"I think methanol and all of these fuels that are not really active yet is something that is very specific and difficult at the moment, but this is something that we are looking into," Benink said.

"On the other hand, if you look at biofuels, HVO, LNG and all these kinds of things, of course it's available.

"It's not something where you can always find your supply directly for, but it is something we are busy with and we would potentially be able to supply that from day one, if the availability is there of course."