IBIA activities: SMM, Africa Forum, ARACON and more

IBIA activities: SMM, Africa Forum, ARACON and more

September has been a very active month for IBIA’s board members and the secretariat. We organized forums at SMM and in Cape Town, where we also ran a Basic Bunkering Course, we participated in an IMO meeting, and three board members spoke at ARACON.


IBIA hosted a forum during SMM in Hamburg on 7 September entitled “Be prepared for the challenges lying ahead” as the decision on the timing of the global 0.50% sulphur cap draws near.

IBIA’s IMO representative, Unni Einemo, provided an update on the fuel availability debate at IMO and the unintended consequences of a sudden transition from a global 3.50% to 0.50% sulphur limit which IBIA is highlighting in a paper submitted to MEPC 70. She also touched on a paper submitted to MEPC 70 by IBIA aiming at improving the current proposal for changes to the Bunker Delivery Note.

The forum also heard from Anna Larsson of the Trident Alliance about the major challenge we face to ensure effective and fair enforcement of sulphur regulations to prevent an uneven playing field. IBIA board member Michael Green of Lintek ShipCare provided the forum with a view on prevailing quality issues in the recent past and what this might tell us about the future.   

Peter Hall also participated in a closed multi-stakeholder roundtable session on compliance options for the global 0.50% sulphur cap while at SMM.


The IBIA Africa Regional Forum held in Cape Town in mid-September took place over three days, organized by IBIA’s Regional Manager Africa Tahra Sergeant. The first day offered IBIA’s

Basic Bunkering Course, taught mainly by Peter Hall. IBIA Board member Patrick Holloway of the law firm Webber Wentzel taught the legal section of the course, while Dian Esterhuyse, Operations Manager at Unicorn Bunker Services, taught the technical section.

The forum itself featured a full day programme with very interesting presentations from various speakers about the region’s bunker market and the challenges it faces.

JJ Metey from Aegean at the IBIA Africa forum
JJ Metey from Aegean at the IBIA Africa forum

In addition, Peter Hall spoke about global trends and outlined the components required to set up an ideal bunker hub, and Unni Einemo outlined the challenges of the IMO’s sulphur regulations. Patrick Holloway chaired the forum and also gave a presenation on the legal quirks and pitfalls that bunker market players would benefit from understanding. The day saw good debate with many questions raised and answered, and was well received by participants, as indeed was the dinner and drinks in the evening.


Unicorn's bunker barge at berth in Cape Town
Unicorn’s bunker barge at berth in Cape Town

The final leg of the Africa Forum was an opportunity to participate in a guided port tour, preceded by apresentation by Coen Birkenstock, Manager: Corporate Affairs at Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). He spoke about ongoing and planned investments in South Africa’s ports as the country seeks to grow its relevance as a strategically positioned hub for shipping. During the port tour we also got a good look at Unicorn’s bunkering vessel ‘Southern Valour’, the only bunker barge operating in Cape Town.



Three IBIA board members spoke at ARACON 2016, organsied by Petrospot, which took place in Rotterdam toward the end of September.

Consultant and author Nigel Draffin gave two presentations, one on whether we are ready for the 0.50% global sulphur cap in 2020 and what we can expect as a consequence of a 2020 implementation, and another on where we are right now with LNG as a bunker fuel.

US-based attorney Steve Simms, a Principal of the international admiralty and maritime litigation firm Simms Showers LLP, updated delegates on the status of post-OW court cases in the US and the question of what rights suppliers and traders have when seeking outstanding bunker payments.

Michael Green of Intertek ShipCare spoke about the surveyor’s role in general, and with particular reference to deliveries in Singapore where mass flow meters will soon become mandatory for fuel oil deliveries.

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