Sustainability is at the core of AMSOL’s business model, strategy, processes and operations – which is why ensuring that we do no harm to the environment is an important business priority.

On the 1st of January 2020, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will implement the regulation for a 0.50% global sulphur cap on marine fuel, representing a significant reduction from the current levels.

This important global change is much anticipated, and its impact on the marine fuel sub-sector and shipping will be under the spotlight as the new year begins – as it has been for much of 2019.

For AMSOL’s clients in the energy sector, the focus on cleaner fuel is supporting innovation, change and diversification to meet the demand.  During this period of transition for clients, AMSOL ensures consistency of standards in product delivery, transshipment and transfer – as well as providing fuel storage, transportation and logistics alternatives as the supply-demand dynamic stabilizes into 2020.

In Durban, the Sapref refinery successfully completed necessary upgrading to ensure production of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) earlier in the year – and November saw AMSOL’s bunker barge ‘Bongani’ delivering its first bunker stem of VLSFO on behalf of Shell in the Port of Durban.

The AMSOL Fleet Management Services Department has also readied the Richards Bay based bunker barge ‘Lipuma’ to ensure capability to deliver VLSFO to vessels calling at the Port. AMSOL delivers fuel by barge for clients Engen, Shell, BP and Astron Energy in Richards Bay, as well as operating the tanker ‘Amber II’ for client BP.

AMSOL’s Fuel Logistics & Transportation Executive Gerad Singh is confident that the transition can be smooth: “The experienced team of professionals servicing AMSOL clients in the Energy sector understand the importance of ensuring continuity of product supply during this time of change, whilst protecting the environment and adhering to legislation.”

AMSOL’s owned and managed fleet of 17 vessels operational around the Southern African coast will comply with the new requirements, with the Strategic Sourcing team ensuring availability of supply and product sourcing.

The IMO has implemented the sulphur limit to set an initial goal of cutting carbon emissions per ship by at least 40% by 2030, and total greenhouse gas emissions for the shipping industry by 50% from 2008’s levels by 2050. This means that ship owners should either switch from Heavy Fuel Oil to a low sulphur fuel, install abatement technology or use an alternative such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) – an opportunity highlighted at the 2019 International Bunker Industry Association’s Africa Conference held in August, at which AMSOL was a sponsor.

Meeting high international standards for Safety, Health, Environment and Quality underpins the AMSOL partnership approach in providing marine solutions in the Energy sector. These requirements are constantly improving and changing to align with global trends and best practices – and AMSOL ensures that it stays ahead of the curve. This applies to operations involving bunker delivery as much as to management of single and multi-buoy (SBM & CBM) offshore terminal operations, which are critical to the country’s fuel supply.

AMSOL provides a turnkey service at the Single Point Mooring (SPM) off of Durban for client Sapref through which 80% of the country’s crude oil is supplied, and also manages the offshore marine loading facility situated in Mossel Bay, operated by PetroSA and the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA). As the Energy sector has experienced the rise of demand for product diversification, AMSOL has also been able to adapt its systems, processes and procedures to ensure seamless marine support services at the Saldanha Bay Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Importation Terminal for client Sunrise Energy.

For AMSOL’s Terminals & Harbour Towage Executive, Norman Jensen, teamwork between experienced personnel ensures that these operations are carried out safely and efficiently.

“Safety of personnel; the structural integrity of the offshore terminals, including their maintenance and equipment; and environmental protection are key priorities for our teams’.

As a result of proactive collaboration between AMSOL and their clients, as well as other relevant roleplayers – these specialized high-risk marine operations, whether in port or offshore, are characterized by safe and environmentally friendly transfer of product. And the company is ready to ensure consistent marine support across a diversified product range.