Smart Tips to Ensure Successful Bunkering

Smart Tips to Ensure Successful Bunkering

To ensure a successful bunker call, first you need to understand which modes of bunkering are actually available on the island of Grand Bahama. There are several to choose from;

    1. Anchorage area
    2. Offshore while drifting
    3. Borco Berths (while conducting cargo ops)
    4. Freeport Harbor berths

Which bunkering mode best meets your needs? The method you choose for receiving bunkers depends on your vessel’s schedule. If you simply need to refuel so that you can continue on your route, then an offshore bunker call is available for you off port or at the anchorage area. Using this method, you would not have to pay any port, pilotage or towage charges; you would be in and out very quickly.  If you have a load or discharge cargo operation, you may want to consider receiving your bunkers while conducting operations at Borco berth. Other maritime services like crew transfers, vessel spares delivery or inspections can be carried out in a cost effective manner at a Harbor Berth.

In my previous post, I go into the basics of ship bunkering in the Bahamas. I also mentioned that the bunkers on Grand Bahama are supplied by Shell Marine Products. Any grade marine fuel oil can be delivered on demand from 180cst to 500cst, also LSFO and MGO.  As usual, I’d like to share with you some things to keep in mind to make your bunker port call successful.

 Bunker Scheduling

If your vessel is calling solely for bunkering, she will in most cases be receiving the stem via barge. These deliveries are made on a first come first served basis. While alongside the offshore jetties or at Borco’s inner berths deliveries can be made concurrent with the vessel’s cargo operations. If your vessel decides upon receiving bunkers at one of Borco’s inner berths, then take note that the maximum draft limitations are;

  • 28.5Ft at Dock# 1
  • 44FT at Berth # 12.


In the summer months during the Atlantic hurricane season which begins in June and ends in November, tropical cyclones can produce inclement marine weather conditions. Although the Bahamas is located in the hurricane belt that lies across most of the Caribbean, many storms bypass the island chain and instead circle below it before heading north toward the United States. Of course, you should monitor the progress of any storms in the area during these periods in conjunction with your vessels bunkering operations.

In the winter months, extending from December through April, the local climate is affected by the movement of cold fronts from North America which causes winds and seas to briefly increase during the passage. Being aware of these weather factors in advance of a vessels arrival can help in planning bunker deliveries.

 Government Clearance

Free practique must be granted by the authorities prior to your vessel receiving its bunker stem.

All local procedures relating to bunkering and oil cargo should follow IMO standards in accordance with the “Manual on Oil Pollution Section 1 – Prevention”

These are just some of the key considerations when planning a bunker call in Grand Bahama.

Do you have any specific questions about your next bunker call?

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