Valencia Office Plays Growing Role in Alternative Bunker Markets

April 22, 2024

In this article, Sales Manager of the Valencia office Alvaro Sierra discusses the  company’s role in the marine energy transition and provides insights on industry developments.

The Valencia office of Glander International Bunkering was established in August 2018 as an ideal location from which to oversee marine fuel supply in the Mediterranean and central Europe.

“Our location is key, considering the Gibraltar Strait and its importance as the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, back and forth with the Atlantic,” said Alvaro Sierra, Sales Manager in the Valencia office.

“We are also very well located to monitor Portugal and Las Palmas, the connection route that connects Latin America with Europe, and Africa with Europe.”

Sierra first joined the company in May 2019, starting as a Junior Bunker Trader before moving up the ranks in the years since then.

“In the past 5 years, the office has grown and adapted to the changing industry,” he said.

The Valencia office is now taking on a wider remit, facilitating trades in some of the new alternative fuels markets and taking in a geographical scope beyond Spain.

Biofuels in Mediterranean and Europe

“Last year, we already performed two deliveries of biofuels in Algeciras, another one in Northern Europe, in Flushing, and we are also supplying LNG, especially in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea,” Sierra said.

“This office is very well-prepared for the transition; we are talking to and advising our customers in that direction.”

The Valencia operation has a bird’s-eye view of biofuel bunker supply and demand across the Mediterranean and is starting to see the market in this region emerge more prominently.

“Currently, biofuel demand is found here in Spain and Gibraltar,” Sierra said.

“Malta is not quite ready yet, and Italy has not reached the levels we are seeing in Spain.”

Given recent events in the Red Sea, Sierra observes slightly decreased demand in the East Med and expects to see more biofuels in Las Palmas.

He said, “Last year, when customers were lifting biofuel as bunkers, they were doing it to improve their CII or to make some trials for the engines.”

This year, he says that shipping companies must improve the performance of their vessels in regard to CO2 emissions, and will turn to biofuels with the FuelEU Maritime regulation.

The FuelEU Maritime regulation comes into force at the start of next year, setting progressively stricter requirements for the amount of green fuels that shipping companies in Europe must consume each year.

LNG in Mediterranean and Europe

The LNG bunker market in the Mediterranean is emerging less rapidly than biofuels, but there are some signs of growth.

“It has good potential, although the demand is not that high yet,” Sierra said. He continued to explain the reason being LNG-burning vessels are limited in that region.

“Most of the LNG demand comes from shipowners from the Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea, Germany. In Spain, we have one shipowner whose fleet is burning LNG from the start.”

Valencia office of Glander International Bunkering support clients source alternative fuels.

EUAs and next steps

Another part of the energy transition for shipping is the need to buy European Union Allowances to cover compliance with the emissions trading system, and the Valencia office is developing a role in this market as well.

“Our New Fuels Advisors are positioned all around the world, including Spain, who are training our employees and supporting our clients with EUA purchases,” Sierra said.

“Shipowners and charterers will compensate for their CO2 emissions by submitting these carbon certificates. We are already able to offer carbon certificates together with our offers for bunkers.”

For further information and personalized support, click here to schedule a meeting with a New Fuels Advisor.