Growth water area

Favorable geographical location and developed infrastructure contributed to the fact that the Baltic ports have become a transit corridor between the West and the East.

Gazprom Neft-lubricants supplies oils to Russian and foreign ports of the Baltic sea as well. At the same time, European ship owners highly appreciate Russian products.

Gazpromneft-SM has been supplying marine oils to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia since 2016. The official distributor of the company's products on the Baltic market is Imex Oil Trade OU, which has been working in the field of marine supply since 2015.

"Effective work in the Baltic market requires increased attention and constant monitoring. The representative of our company in the region must understand the regional specifics, have the expertise of international supply and regularly confirm the competence of the uninterrupted supply of oils to the ships of the Baltic and foreign companies", – said Roman Miroshnichenko, Director of the branch of the company "Gazpromneft – lubricants" in St. Petersburg".

"The decision to start cooperation with Gazpromneft-SM was made due to the wide range of packaged and bulk products available, very important that the lubs quality is confirmed by the international certificates, – says the General Director of Imex Oil Trade OU Andrey Kotljarov". Moreover, oil compliance with environmental safety requirements, as well as the global logistics chain, which allows to deliver oil to the warehouse of our company in short time, was also taken in consideration."

 

Local challenges

In 2017, the volume of delivered high-tech marine oils produced by Gazpromneft-SM to the Baltic ports amounted to more than 900 tons. About 90% of lubricants supplied to the markets of the Baltic States and is mostly bulk engine oils for ferries, bulk carriers, container ships, fishing vessels, tankers and ships for General cargo.

The work of Gazpromneft-SM in the Baltic market started in a difficult period for shipping carries. In 2015, the MARPOL Convention, which imposes increased environmental requirements for marine fuel, began to operate in the area of the Baltic and other seas.  It means, the range of oils intended for bunkering in the ports of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and North-West Russia, had to have a lower alkaline number, to be different from the product range available in the ports of the Northern and Southern seas or the Far East.

Talking about all ports of the Baltic States, marine oils of Gazpromneft-SM are mostly in demand in Klaipeda, Lithuania. "At the moment, 10% of the total oil volume sold by our company is delivered to the ports of Estonia, 30 % – to the ports of Latvia and 60 % – to the ports of Lithuania, – says the General Director of Imex Oil Trade OU. "The Lithuanian port of Klaipeda has the largest number of lubricants delivered due to the large number of Belarusian goods processed by this port."

 

Target 2020

In January 2020, ship owners around the world will face a new challenge: they will have to use low-sulphur marine fuel. Instead of the current 3.5%, the limit of sulphur in marine fuel will be reduced to 0.5%. At the same time, the Baltic Sea is the part of the SECA zone, where more severe environmental standards are already in force.

According to Andrei Kotljarov’s opinion, the work of some categories of ship owners in the Baltic States from 2020 can be particularly complicated: "the implementation of new requirements may have a different influence on transportation. For low-tonnage ships engaged in transport in the SECA area, the bunkering cost increasing is inevitably. It means that the cost of goods will be in the first place for ship owners. For vessels following the limits of Northern Europe, the negative effect of tightening requirements will be less, as after leaving the SECA zone they will use cheaper fuel with sulfur high content. Therefore, it’s vividly seen that the replacement of heavy fuel oil with distillates, and bunkering cost increasing, will be much less affected on the transportation of large- tonnage vessels (primarily tankers), following through the Atlantic, to Africa or Asia."

The Baltic oil marine supply market is highly competitive. The supplier of lubricants is obliged to be in constant contact with both ship owners and international trading companies. In addition, it is important to ensure prompt delivery, as well as the availability of professional technical service, including quality control of oils used on ships, consulting of mechanics, technical seminars and other services that lead to useful life of lubricants increasing and ship owners expenses reducing.

"The products of Gazpromneft-SM meet the needs of the most demanding customers.

The successful work of our company in the Baltic market has become possible, in particular, thanks to high qualification of our partners from the branch "Gazpromneft-SM" in St. Petersburg, providing us with comprehensive support,-said Andrey Kotljarov. "This applies to commercial, financial and technical issues, as well as marketing and strategy."