Director’s Report – Setting sail for a new challenge

Director’s Report – Setting sail for a new challenge

Commitment to support and advance the bunkering industry

As I step into the role of Executive Director of IBIA, I am honoured to lead, with the direction of the Chair and Board, this esteemed organisation into a new era of challenges and opportunities. The world of bunkering is evolving rapidly, driven by environmental concerns, regulatory changes, and technological advancements. In this editorial, I would like to outline my view for the future and how IBIA will play a pivotal role in shaping the industry.

The bunkering industry has always been at the heart of global trade, providing the lifeblood (fuels) of vessels that transport 90% of goods across the world’s oceans. However, as environmental concerns become more pressing, and regulatory changes demand cleaner and more sustainable fuels, the industry is at a crossroads. It is with a deep sense of responsibility and enthusiasm that I assume the role of Executive Director at IBIA.

IBIA’s commitment to a sustainable future is unwavering. We recognise that the transition to cleaner fuels is not only necessary for the environment but also represents a significant business opportunity. Our association is dedicated to fostering innovation and collaboration to ensure the bunkering industry can meet the challenges ahead. We will work closely with our members, regulators, and industry partners to promote the development and adoption of alternative fuels and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Navigating the regulatory landscape is essential for our industry and we are privileged in IBIA to have on board our Secretariat team as the IBIA IMO Representative an experienced and knowledgeable expert, Dr. Edmund Hughes.  Dr. Hughes as a previous member of the IMO Secretariat was responsible for MARPOL Annex VI, including IMO 2020 and energy efficiency for ships.  He is following and participates in numerous Correspondence Groups, Committees and Working Groups of the IMO and informs IBIA members.

IBIA will continue to be at the forefront of regulatory discussions, advocating for practical and effective regulations that ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders. We aim to provide our members with the necessary tools and knowledge to comply with regulations while remaining competitive.

It is well known that IBIA supports greater transparency in the bunker sector, with bunker licensing and mass flow meters (MFM) as suggested solutions.  We welcome Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges’ recent announcement regarding implementation of MFM and strongly encourage other international bunker ports to consider their adoption. 

We believe this will help create a level playing field for companies that want to offer a quality service and improve trust in our sector.

Technology is rapidly changing the way bunkering operations are conducted. From digital platforms to real-time monitoring and reporting, IBIA will promote the adoption of innovative solutions that enhance efficiency and transparency in bunkering. We will facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among industry players to harness the full potential of these advancements.  In this direction the IBIA Digitalisation Working Group launched a comprehensive digitalisation survey with the goal of providing a holistic overview of the bunker value chain.  Our Working Group believes that wide participation will foster invaluable insights for the industry.  Results and actions to follow soon. 

The bunkering industry is a ‘glocal’ one, with global and local characteristics and IBIA’s reach extends to all corners of the world. We will continue to foster international, regional and local cooperation and partnerships to address shared challenges. Our aim is to provide a unified voice for the industry on the global stage and ensure that bunkering remains a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible activity.

In conclusion, I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for IBIA and the bunkering industry. As Executive Director, I am committed to working closely with our members and industry stakeholders to navigate the challenges and embrace the changes that the future holds. Our shared commitment to sustainability, regulatory compliance, and technological advancements will set the course for a brighter and more prosperous future for the bunkering industry.

I encourage all industry players to join us in shaping the future of bunkering. Together, we will set sail into a more sustainable and prosperous era.


Alexander Prokoapakis

IBIA Executive Director

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