Monday, February 21, 2005

Bunkering drops but Gibraltar still a World Leader

Gibraltar’s bunker market, a key element of the local maritime sector, dropped for the first time in over a decade last year.

Local suppliers delivered 3.64m tonnes of fuel during 2004, down 4.5% from 3.81m tonnes the previous year.

Last year was the first time since 1990 that the bunker market in Gibraltar failed to register year-on-year growth. Local players insisted that the dip last year was little more than a blip, largely brought about by operational changes at some companies.

Trends in the maritime industry as a whole also meant that ships were often opting to refuel at the ports where were loading or discharging cargo, rather than at maritime petrol stations like Gibraltar.

In International terms, the Rock is ranked at around 10th place in the list of the busiest bunker ports in the world.

Bunkering involves the refuelling of ships both at sea and alongside in port. In Gibraltar, it accounts for most of the business in the port and has knock-on benefits across the maritime sector as a whole.

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