Glander International Bunkering, which started operations in the UAE in 2006, is increasingly focussing its operations around compliance with the forthcoming IMO 2020 sulphur regulations which come into effect in January next year. Managing Director, Morten Langthjem, says, “The entire bunker supply chain will be disrupted in terms of the availability of compliant fuel, in terms of the commercial, legal and operational aspects, and last, but not least, with regards to available credit. We have devoted a lot of resources to mapping the supply chain, so we can give guidance to our clients as to where they can fuel compliant products prior to, and after January 1st 2020, and the interest in such information is huge.”
Langthjem believes that the changed regulations will require bunker suppliers to remain agile and ready to adapt. “The changed market place will I am sure open new opportunities for us, and in fact this is already starting to show. We have for example just delivered our first very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) order in Fujairah,” he points out.
Encouragingly, Glander International Bunkering has in recent months noticed greater awareness on the part of shipowners as to the reality of their situation post 2020. “Many owners have laid out their plans and we are assisting them to test new fuels and scrubber technologies,” says Langthjem. “There are however concerns about the availability of compliant fuels, tank cleaning, pricing and operational issues, while those with scrubbers want to understand what options they have for discharging their effluents in various ports in the region.”
The fact that more bunker fuel suppliers are also at last beginning to declare their plans is similarly welcomed by Langthjem. He adds, “We are well into discussions with leading suppliers about how we can work together on this paradigm shift. Now is the time to really stand together to ensure we are all working towards a safe and successful era post-2020.”
Glander International Bunkering is one of the largest buyers of bunkers in the region and its success in sourcing low sulphur content fuels has enabled the company to secure contracts in Fujairah and other locations on behalf of its customers. “We are pleased to see that the spot volume for VLSFO 0.5% is increasing and this is allowing us to share experiences with suppliers and customers,” says Langthjem. “This learning curve will manifest itself in terms of successful future cooperations.”
In another significant development for the company, Glander International Bunkering has recently been named as one of the Top 20 Great Places To Work (GPTW) in the UAE. Langthjem explains, “We contacted the team behind GPTW and last September each employee responded to a questionnaire related to the workplace. We scored an 88% satisfaction level, putting us straight into the Top 20 for the first time in GPTW history. Now the challenge is to get an even better score in 2019.”
Ensuring job satisfaction by focussing on the GPTW criteria has had benefits in terms of motivation, performance, reduced sick days and higher retention rates, among other things, the company states. In addition, it is also proving advantageous in recruiting to the business. “We have to recognise that across all business sectors there is a drive to employ the best talent, people no longer stay with the same company for decades and Dubai is often regarded as a career stepping stone,” says Langthjem. “So attracting and keeping the best talent requires hard work and we are lucky that every employee is responsible and is contributing to making Glander International Bunkering a great place to work!”