Coastal Bunker Barge/Tanker in Operation at Richards Bay, South Africa

By Tony Edwards and Allan Heydorn, Partners in the International Transport, Trade & Energy team

Local online trade newspaper Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter has recently reported that South Africa’s first coastal bunker barge, AMBER II, is in operation at the port of Richards Bay.

The port of Richards Bay has long been serviced by a bunker barge of 3678mt dwt stationed and operating within the port.  AMBER II is a larger bunker tanker of 6786mt dwt, which remains outside the port in the Richards Bay outer anchorage as a floating storage and fuel replenishment vessel for BP customer vessels calling at the port.  When required to supply bunkers, the tanker proceeds into the harbour and alongside the vessel requiring refuelling.  Once the refuelling operation is complete, AMBER II leaves the port and returns to the outer anchorage awaiting the next job.

As soon as she gets low on fuel, AMBER II heads to Durban, 8 – 10 hours down the coast, to replenish her cargo of fuels, thereafter back to Richards Bay.

According to her operators, African Marine Solutions (AMSOL), AMBER II can supply marine fuel oil and marine gas oil (diesel) at rates of up to 550 mt per hour.

Port Manager Preston Khomo is quoted in the report as saying that AMBER II is helping to ensure that adequate bunkering services are available to vessels calling at Richards Bay, saving clients the costs of having to refuel at other ports.

For more information on the above contact:
Allan Heydorn (S&W Richards Bay)
+27 35 780 7256
Tony Edwards (S&W Durban)
+27 31 575 7307