Pakistan’s Orion Bunkers Limited, which currently supplies marine fuels to vessels at the ports of Karachi and Bin Qasim, plans to expand its domestic operations by adding more barges, company bunker director Zeeshan Arshad said late Friday.
Orion Bunkers presently owns four bunker barges and has four chartered barges.
“We [are] always willing to expand and believe in positive growth,” Arshad said in an email, adding the company already delivers over 80% of bunker volumes in Pakistan.
“Currently, our wings are spread in Port Karachi, Bin Qasim and both anchorages, but yes, we have plans for expansion as soon as Gwadar becomes fully operational,” he said, adding plans were underway to buy new barges for bunkering at Gwadar.
Gwadar is a warm water deepsea port on the Arabian Sea in Balochistan province and is considered a crucial link between the One Belt, One Road and Maritime Silk Road projects.
Orion Bunkers has also expanded its product offering recently to include low sulfur marine gas oil, or LSMGO.
“We are supplying [LSMGO] for the last two months,” Arshad said, adding that it was becoming imperative to offer low sulfur fuels as shipping regulations are set to become stricter. The emissions control areas, or ECAs, also necessitate their use.
“There is no ECA requirement in Karachi or Bin Qasim. However, most vessel’s next port calls are in those regions where LSMGO is mandatory, therefore they prefer to lift from Karachi and use [it] outside Pakistan waters,” Arshad said.