The developing oil infrastructure in the region is helping to raise Fujairah's status as a hub. File Image / Pixabay
The status of Fujairah as a Middle Eastern bunkering hub is set to rise further with the addition of another refinery at the UAE port.
Ecomar Energy Solutions has started operations at its 15,000 b/d refinery in Fujairah, price reporting agency S&P Global Platts reported Thursday, citing comments from the company's trading director.
The plant will produce residual fuel as well as other refined products, and the company plans to expand it, Platts said.
Fujairah is currently the world's third-largest bunkering port, shortly below Rotterdam, and has the potential to grow rapidly. A growing amount of complex refinery capacity is in the region, capable of producing very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) in large quantities and at competitive prices.
Ecomar's refinery in Fujairah is in addition to one operated by Vitol and another by Unipec.
VLSFO prices at Fujairah rose to $330.50/mt on Wednesday, according to Ship & Bunker pricing, $1/mt less than in Singapore and $6/mt more than at Rotterdam. On average so far this year the price has been $395/mt, about $1/mt above Singapore's level and $58.50/mt above Rotterdam's.
Fuel oil exports from Fujairah dropped to an 18-month low of 78,600 b/d last month, according to data from analytics firm Kpler.