Singapore is facing the greatest competition yet to its status as the dominant marine fuel supplier in Asia, with China luring more ships to its shores following a rapid expansion of its port and refining facilities.
China’s marine fuel sales -- known in the industry as bunkering -- have almost doubled over the past five years and the nation is banking on attracting ships that travel to nearby ports in major economies such as South Korea and Japan. Singapore still has a commanding position as the top supplier to a sector valued at over $30 billion in Asia, but Chinese growth is accelerating.
The epicenter of China’s bunkering is Zhoushan, an archipelago to the south of Shanghai on the east coast. Some of the nation’s newest and biggest crude oil refineries are being built in the area, while the government has introduced tax incentives that make Chinese fuels more competitive.