The bunker fuel market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4.5% during the forecast period of 2020 – 2025. Factors such as the gradual rise in international seaborne trade and rapid technological development in different type of vessels and their engines are driving the bunker fuel market. Moreover, oil & gas exploration activities at deep offshore locations and other marginal oil & gas fields are boosting the global bunker fuel market as it requires offshore vessels to perform these activities. Furthermore, based on fuel, the High Sulfur Fuel Oil (HSFO) segment held a dominant share of the global bunker fuel market in 2018 followed by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). However, implementation of the IMO 2020 regulation is expected to restrict the use of high sulfur content fuel owing to the environmental concern. The new global limits on sulfur content for marine fuels are estimated to significantly impact the bunker fuel market.
- The demand for LNG is increasing in the transportation sector, majorly for seaborne trade. There has been a significant shift in the transportation industry from conventional sources to a much cleaner and affordable sources such as LNG in recent years. This, in turn, is expected to make LNG as a fastest growing bunker fuel during the forecast period.
- With the worldwide increased focus on energy generation from cleaner fuels and increased in LNG based vessels are providing a major opportunity to the market studied.
- Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest-growing market in the forecast period mainly due to increased focus on a shift towards cleaner fuel for seaborn trade.
Key Market Trends
LNG Vessels to Dominate the Market
- LNG use for transportation have shown significant growth in recent years and is expected to do so in the forecast period.
- There has been a significant rise in LNG based seaborne trade vessels, aiming at a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The strict regulations in response to climate change have put pressure on shipping vessels to choose LNG in-place oil.
- As of 2018, there were 143 LNG-fuelled ships in operation, while 140 ships were on order. A quicker uptake of LNG as a fuel for shipping is thus clearly visible. The ferries and OSVs segment has the largest share in the market. As of 2018, there are 68 LNG-fuelled ferries operating and 60 LNG-fueled ferried under construction/in the order book. Moreover, 13 out of 73 cruise ships on order and to be delivered between 2017-2026 are LNG powered, with an increasing trend towards LNG powered ships.
- Furthermore, major players, such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total, have implemented the vertical integration strategy to expand their horizons in the market. Some companies have focused on targeting the small-scale LNG sector to make quick return on investments.
- Hence with growing stricter regulation, government and major companies policies aim towards reducing greenhouse gases are expected to drive the LNG market which likely to propel the bunker fuel market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific to Dominate the Market Growth
- Asia-Pacific region is witnessing significant growth in industrialization and urbanization due to an increase in population, majorly in India and China. The demand for energy is growing which demands better infrastructure for transportation. Major countries are investing in the bunker fuel to support the industrial & commercial sectors. In addition, Rapid technological development has boosted oil & gas exploration activities at deep offshore locations and other marginal oil & gas fields which impact bunker fuel market positively during the forecast period.
- Moreover, in 2018, the Chinese bunkering market maintained its growth momentum. Ports in China account for nearly a third of global container traffic. The country has the largest merchant fleet in the world in terms of number of ships.
- In March 2018, China had a cumulative 275 LNG powered vessels, out of which 160 were new builds, and 115 were retrofitted. The country also has 19 LNG bunkering stations, out of which only three were operational as of March 2018.
- This in turn, with increasing investment in infrastructure development for LNG use in the region and increasing desire towards energy generation and transportation for being cleaner and cheaper, this region is expected to show growth in the bunker fuel market during the forecasted period.
The bunker fuel market is moderately consolidated. Some of the key players in the market include Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total S.A., BP Plc, and Petro China.
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