Suppliers optimistic about Jamaica's bunkering future at IBIA conference

Opportunities abound for Jamaica in the marine fuels market, local suppliers at the International Bunker Industry Association’s Caribbean Bunker Conference this week said.

“All those vessels passing through the Panama Canal, they’re passing by Jamaica,” West Indies Petroleum’s CEO Charles Chambers said.

The challenge for West Indies Petroleum, which owns two terminals, three barges and a bunker tanker, is to make customers aware of product offerings, Chambers said.

Additionally, Jamaica’s Petrojam, a joint-venture between PDVCaribe and government-owned Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, is looking to expand its offerings of residual bunker fuel and marine gasoil, an official Wednesday said.

About half of the yield of Petrojam’s 35,500 b/d refinery in Kingston, Jamaica is heavy fuel oil, the company’s senior supervisor for marketing & customer service Hugh Hines said.

A local power generator accounts for Petrojam’s largest customer, Hines said, but that customer is shifting away from fuel oil. Hines said Petrojam hopes to expand it’s offerings to the bunker fuel market to make up the difference.

Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Andrew Wheatley said the country’s reputation as a destination for the cruise ship industry as well as regional import and export activity is turning Jamaica into a bunkering hub.

“The projected rise in shipping traffic … provides opportunities for us to capitalize on bunkering,” Wheatley said.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that we ....

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