A Bunker Buying Management Service Provider
(as brokers only)
Intelligent Bunker Buying Solutions
A Bunker Buying Management Service Provider
(as brokers only)
Intelligent Bunker Buying Solutions
Prime’s Bunkersplus Services L.P. is an independent bunker-buying management service provider that executes intelligent bunker buying solutions.
An innovative and active player in the Marine Fuel Industry, specializing in the Greek shipping market, since 2002, bridging them direct to physical suppliers.
Prime’s Bunkersplus also provides alternatives from the various major world-wide Traders.
This is the most transparent and cost effective means of buying one’s bunkers.
As qualified bunker brokers we perform & deliver on all the tasks so that our clients - the buyers - are freed up, running ships.
We establish supplier credit lines with vetted vendors, negotiate prices and terms, nominate bunker orders. Available for follow-up 24/7, with the aim, to make the right choices.
Crude level monitoring second by the second, port, barge, & product availability reports, claims management (prevention & handling), Invoice & BDR chasing, Friendly payment reminders – we do it all for you!
Prior to Jan 1st, 2020, sourcing the new VLSFO 0.50% max sulphur product will be preceded by sourcing ample credit lines.
A human “bunker buying tool” for many shipping & chartering companies who appreciate the added value of experience to their buying strategy.
Operating from Greece, our purchasing team, which consists of trading, supply, and broker experienced agents, operate as brokers only and focus on quality client service, credit lines, accurate market information and sustained supplier relations. Always aiming to provide the lowest market prices without compromising quality & reliability.
Our reputation for transparency, care, ethos and high-quality broker services is acknowledged by vendors operating in ports all over the globe. They know that, like them, we’ve set the bar very high. And a happy client is a happy vendor.
Plan your Bunker buying policy and strategy with unbiased independent brokers now. New set of challenges regarding the quality of the new 0.50% fuel product and the increased prices of the 0.1% MGO are coming up in Q3 & Q4.
Bunker buyers already face formidable tasks with the many factors in the bunker industry, such as fuel price volatility, time validities, hefty cancellation charges, fuel quality issues, choosing the right counter parties, and GTCs.
They need assistance from expert bunker brokers to contend with the transitions come 2020.
This year, commemorates 17 years of successful brokering between the bunker & shipping industries. Since 2002, we’ve been providing Greece’s top-tier shipping companies with high-end broker services, for their bunker & lubricant purchases and, above all, peace of mind. Don't ask us, ask them: ADK, Angelicoussis Group, Alpha Bulkers, Chartworld, CMM, Common Progress, Conbulk, Dalnave, Gaslog, Grace Trading Corp LLC, Leon, Lotus Shipping, Meadway, Navios, Pantheon Tankers, Phoenix Shipping, Seaworld, Seaven, Starbulk, TMS, Tsakos Shipping and others.
Prime’s Bunkersplus is a long-standing member of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), voicing Greek Shipowners concerns.
Bunker Broker’s maintain a balance between buyers and sellers, with the goal to safeguard both parties interests.
We do this with CARE and it shows through our Commitment to Accuracy, Reliability and Excellence.
Irene, founder of Prime’s, graduated from Pace University, NYC, with a BBA in International Management & minors in Marketing & Political Science. She later studied psychology and was admitted in the Human Relations Master’s Program at CUNY’s Brooklyn College.
Work experiences at Bear Stearns, IBM, Nichiman America, and Shipping offices in NYC and in Piraeus, namely, Ceres Hellenic, and her own start-up retail business in NYC, have successfully shaped her business and entrepreneurial skills.
Managing and directing a 24/7 bunker broker firm competing in the international arena for almost 2 decades, Irene is a proven business person who has mastered connecting people and ideas, significantly.
She brings value to Prime’s client base with her untainted clarity of vision and diligent market coverage. Her availability, grasp of both the shipping and bunker industry know-how and her business ethics have attracted numerous first-class Greek based ship-owning firms.
Motto in life: IKIGAI : find your sense of purpose and prosper happily.
Thanassis is in the Shipping industry for a long time. First in the crew department of Lemos Maritime and then as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Marine.
He worked at Greece’s major Physical Supplier, MAMIDOIL JETOIL, as a Sales Executive and a bunker supply Operator for over 2 decades. He also was the Supply manager at Greek bunker physical Supplier, PHOENIX OLIEHANDEL, thereafter.
He has 30 years of knowledge and experience in the bunkering industry mainly in purchasing – supplying procedures, handling claims and solving disputes. He is a Graduate of C.I.M. (Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK) focused in sales management. Knowing the bunker supply business very well, his role at Prime’s Bunkersplus is very relevant as he represents the suppliers point of view in the bunker management equation.
Teri started her career in shipping almost fifteen years ago. After a while in chartering and operations, she picked up bunkering and stayed there ever since.
She has worked as an in-house bunker buyer and in well-known trading houses like Amoil and Integr8 Fuels.
She holds a degree in Maritime Economics and Science from the University of Piraeus Dept. of Maritime Studies and is fluent in four languages (Greek-English-French-Spanish).
Her career path to date, along with her skills, has gained her a full-spectrum insight of the maritime sector. She has the ability to easily communicate among cultures and forge relationships on an international level. For this reason, she is here to guarantee the best option for any vessel, on any charter, in any port.
Chryssa’s specialty in the Shipping Industry has been concentrated in the Shipping Finance sector both on the Banking side and Ship owners' side, since November 2000.
She joined Prime in November 2015 to re-assess and re-define Prime’s finance role for its clientele base who was lacking supplier credit lines.
She holds a BSc in Economic Sciences from the University of Athens and a MSc in International Shipping from Plymouth University, U.K.
She holds the Diploma in IFRS and she is certified by ATHEX from the Derivatives Market Training Unit and by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (Professional Qualification) . Her know-how and innate business ethics contribute and support Prime's mission to satisfy clients’ needs while maintain a balance with its vendors.
Sophia earned her Bachelor degree in Maritime Studies from the University of Piraeus and has worked in the shipping and bunker brokering/trading businesses for 20 years.
Her experience trading marine fuels and lubricants in one of the largest international lubricants physical supplier corporations, and understanding of clients’ needs, equip her to handle after sales, with care and to the fullest.
Prime’s Bunkersplus Services is a spin-off of Prime Petroleum Services, Inc. (PPS) which operates in the Bunker Brokering sector by bridging top-tier shipping companies with vetted physical suppliers and re-sellers of marine fuels and lubricants. Founded in 2002, by Irene K. Notias, PPS quickly developed an enviable reputation for professionalism and, within a decade, tripled its client base, became a BP Marine authorized Broker and turned bunker buying into a science.
To be a specialized and independent Bunker Broker company in Greece, and to provide added-value, tailor-made solutions with transparency and ethos, to all the stakeholders.
To offer highest-quality services, and to remain agile in our industry’s ever-changing environment, in order to meet the clients’ needs.
We can’t control the tides & currents. However, we have control over the way we perceive and interpret issues, as well as the decisions we make to address them. Therefore, remaining mindful of the needs and supporting high quality standards - going that extra mile - allows us to meet our clients' satisfaction.
We believe in teamwork. A few people working together seamlessly can move mountains, let alone deliver fuel products. Creating synergies is what we excel at. This helps us to create a stable environment which promotes sound decision-making - something our clients find very comforting, given the ever-changing, fast-paced world we all live and work in.
Individual commitment to a common goal is what fuels a team, a company, a society, a civilization.
BIMCO suggests the following NY Product Exchange 2015 clause to use in the charter party in case owners purchase the fuel:
"The Owners shall provide sufficient bunkers onboard to perform the entire time charter trip. The Charterers shall not bunker the Vessel, and shall pay with the first hire payment for the mutually agreed estimated bunker consumption for the trip, namely _____ metric tons at _____ price. Upon redelivery any difference between estimated and actual consumption shall be paid by the Charterers or refunded by the Owners as the case may be".
Comments from an owner: Under a voyage charter, the Owners will arrange so you need to delete "under voyage charter" if you use this clause.
Under a period charter, this clause would not apply as it is drafted for a single time charter trip.
Under a single time charter trip, this clause could work.
Best that owners be aware to ask for COQ and any other safe guards such as have wording in charter that chrs cannot commingle vlsfo from diff suppliers in same tank. This is just a thought, need to talk it over with tech dept first to see their views. But, if everyone is worried about compatibility of fuel and stoppages, then how to avoid or minimize such risk wld be of help.
Eleven years ago, I was working as a trader in an international trading firm situated in Greece. When our customer delayed a payment and asked for further extension on his agreed terms, I recall our manager humorously and in a Greek accent instructing the accounting department, "tell them we sell bunkers; we are not bankers!" I chuckled at his pronunciation as he emphasized the "u" against the "a" letter in each word respectively, showing the similarities of the words and yet very different meanings of each.
IMO best practice guidance for bunker fuel consumers and suppliers.
As we approach the entry into force of the 0.50% sulphur limit, we are likely to see a range of unfamiliar fuel blends that will require due diligence from all parties. All stakeholders could benefit, therefore, from heeding the advice found in best practice guidance developed by the IMO, with significant input from industry.
In October last year, the 73rd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee approved a draft MEPC circular containing the IMOï¿½s Guidance on best practice for fuel oil suppliers for assuring the quality of fuel oil delivered to ships. IMO best practice for buyers/purchasers was already approved at MEPC 72, and the draft best practice for Member States/coastal States is expected to be finalized and approved at MEPC 74 in May this year.
IBIA has played a key role in developing the IMO guidance. The final version was largely based on best practice for fuel oil suppliers provided by IBIA to MEPC 72. IBIA has also contributed significantly to the IMO best practice guidance for bunker consumers, and the upcoming best practice for Member States/coastal States.
Below are links to the IMO documents, as well as the IBIA best practice document:
About Managing IMO 2020 regulation of non-compliant fuel come Jan 1st and Mar 1st 2020. .
IBIA presided and contributed at the MEPC 74 in May 2019 and reports the below information and facts:
1) When managing Non-Compliant fuel, it is important to note that the Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) is not an exemption. It is a mechanism to report to port state control (PSC). PSC will report the deficiency and also decide whether there will be a penalty or not, how to manage the non-compliant fuel with the Shipï¿½s flag state.
2) You may find the FONAR report in Resolution MEPC.320 (74) Appendix 1 or call us at Bunkersplus to send it to you.
3) Managing the non-compliant fuel is still not firm. There are differing views. There can be debunkering if the port allows it and knows how to do it, or using the non-compliant fuel in high seas. It is recognized that debunkering is a very complex operation and a pollution risk.
4) Because of the shortage of storage tanks on vsls, unfair to detain a vessel, and debunkering is complex, IBIA, USA, Australia proposed and supported that vessels (for the 1st term of 6-12 months) be allowed to burn the Non-Compliant fuel at high seas in order to dispose of it, clean their tanks, and begin to use the VLSFO 0.5% but most countries opposed this.
IBIA has also contributed to the SHIP IMPLEMENTATION PLAN prepared by the IMO to assist ship owners in preparing for the use low sulphur fuels to comply with the 2020 sulphur limit.
Hereï¿½s the relevant link, containing IMOï¿½s said plan for consistent implementation of the 0.50% Sulphur limit, under Marpol Annex VI.
In the light of a permanent effort for a smooth transition to IMO 2020, IBIA played a key role in developing the IMO best practice guidance for bunker fuel consumers as well as physical suppliers.
See below the link to the relevant article containing also links to IMO & IBIA documents:
There are many changes and developments in the bunker industry and much more to come by 2020.
There is a lot of company restructuring. We are seeing a lot of consolidation and small niche players supporting the bunker buying community in what seems the most confusing time period of all time in both the shipping and bunker industries. Here are some old kids in the Greek bunker business who are creating a new path for the bunker buyers in Greece, and being at their side for a smoother transition into year 2020.
Irene Notias: " This year marks our good company's 16th year anniversary in the bunker industry. An industry which is always changing and so are we. For the better. Therefore, what better timing for us to make the plunge and change our name and symbol? "
"we did it and it's prime time!!!!"
Prime's Bunkers Plus Director, Ms. Irene Notias, spoke & co-coordinated the 2nd session of the conference , entitled "Bunkering and Alternative Sources of Energy. What is the Future?"
The other speakers for this session were:
Mr. Nellos Filopoulos, General Manager at Cockett Marine Oil Hellas, Mr. Merten Traulsen, Head of Global Support Center Marine/Offshore Endress + Hauser Messtechnik GmbH+Co., Mr. John Gordon, Residual Fuel Desulfurization Consultant at Field Upgrading, Mr. John Kokarakis, Vice President Bureau Veritas, Mr. Orestis Schinas, Professor of Shipping and Ship Finance, HAMBURG SCHOOL OF B.ADMIN. and Ms. Helena Athoussaki, Head of Sustainability and Maritime centre at PwC. Discussions were made about the future changes that will affect everyone, due to the new regulations implementation.
Check all information on Bunker Requisition Form or equivalent which is presented by the Supplier, via the barge. If there are any changes regarding quantity or quality, immediately communicate with the appropriate contact person (ie: broker or trader) in order to verify the details.
Witness and confirm the initial measurements and ullaging onboard the barge before and the measurement after the delivery takes place. Check and measure all the tanks, including actual temperature of cargo, and any idle tanks (said not to be included in the particular supply).
Compare measurements and verify the quantities as per barge ullages tables. When in full agreement, sign the ullage/sounding report for Before Supply figures.
If any disagreements with the measurements, temperature and thereby figures please advise this on the Sounding form or, if not allowed, on separate Letter of Protest (make sure to obtain signature and stamp from barge Master for receipt).
If surveyor attends, ensure the surveyor also participates in the measuring procedures before supply and verifies the figures.
Watchman to witness safe and proper operation and correct sampling. The watchman ensures continuous drip sampling throughout the delivery and that devices used for sampling are clean.
Watchman to witness proper and correct division into minimum 4 (four) clean and new identical sample bottles, including proper labeling and sealing of ALL samples. Make sure original sample (cubitainer) is shaken vigorously for 3 minutes before splitting into the 4 sample bottles and that bottles are filled in several passes. All seal numbers to be inserted into the Bunker Delivery Receipt (BDR). The MARPOL sample must be one of these samples drawn under witnessing.
Watchman to pay special attention to the bunker hose, and any not agreed attempts to transfer air via same should cause immediate stoppage unless the use of air is caused by stripping of barge tanks, which stripping to be agreed in advance by both parties. If air is blown on continued basis, and stoppage on the supply not possible, for any reason, the incident to be reported in a Letter of Protest (LOP), which should also contain the time (hours from/to) that air blow was noticed.
In order to avoid "Cappuccino effect" pay special attention and take all necessary precautions reg the below:
During tank measurements, notify the seller, supplier or broker of any signs of air on the measuring tape used for ullaging.
Search for any signs of bubbles or similar on the surface of the fuel when it is still onboard the barge.
Agree with the barge ops when and if they are going to make stripping of the tanks.
Check and note the draft fore, mid and aft on the barge before and after supply to compare.
If any signs at all of cappuccino or similar (except eventual stripping, agreed in advance), please stop the supply immediately and compare supply quantities made so far.
Immediately contact office vessel operator in charge and request notification to the Seller or Supplier.
If surveyor attending, surveyor signs the Letter of Protest, also.
Stop the bunker delivery and wait minimum 1 hour for bubbles to disappear and re-measure the barge jointly with barge Master.
Repeat the measurement, sounding and ullaging of the barge, including verification of temperature of each tank.
Verify contents of ALL tanks, including the idle ones.
Ullage Report must be signed by all parties involved, including the surveyor.
Any disagreements regarding figures (mm, temperature) requires a Letter of Protest to be issued, and any specific disagreements to be stated on the Ullage report regarding completion of delivery.
Receiving Vessel to immediately inform differences in writing, on the spot, by Letter of Protest (LOP) attached to the BDN or BDR (Bunker Delivery Receipt) and copy to the Seller or Broker via e-mail.
by Irene Notias
Using the new compliant fuels VLSFO 0.50% max Sulphur limit iis very likely going to increase bunker claims.
To make work life easier and for the sake of good order, Prime’s Bunkersplus is offering the Greek Shipping community a free brief guide to Prevent Bunker Claims, in two parts.
“We care about using valuable time and energy for more productive aims rather than arguing/negotiating a claim with a Supplier or Trader”, says Managing Director, Ms. Notias.
Most disputes are avoidable when the proper steps are taken, and all parties involved leave out emotion/prejudgments, get to the facts swiftly and in concise & clear documentation.
The Bunker Industry functions under ISO 8217 specs and has a set of General Terms & Conditions which have been adopted by ever supplier and trader. First and foremost, know them. Understand the Suppliers Terms & Conditions and the Bunker Confirmations and that the suppliers are ship owners who deal with logistics and personnel too. Suppliers must also understand that customers are king and not the other way around. Bunker Broker, Irene Notias always says, “without customers there are no suppliers.”
As all buyers, suppliers, traders and brokers say: it is far easier to avoid a disagreement than to try to resolve one afterwards. Both stakeholders must play ethically by the common rules. Take bunker courses offered by the International Bunker Industry or Petrospot.
A brief Guide to effectively managing bunker disputes is available, but “Preventing Bunker Claims” is best to learn first.
Types of claims:
Checklist to prevent problems:
ensure suppliers specs are provided & know the spec minimums ensure that the vsls rep (surveyor or vsls staff) witness the sampling collection from the barge avoid suppliers that are known to have questionable fuel sources and blending techniques even if fuel is not within the spec, it can be used if treated in accordance with guidelines issued by the major fuel testing organizations because resolution of pumping out of the bunkers delivered and replacing with fresh product is rare. If the fuel oil is off spec containing phenols, oxygenated material, fatty acids and chemical waste then it's not treatable at all, it's a safety risk and the only sound and logical solution is de-bunkering Always provide documentation in case needed in a more legal arena.
ensure that the receiving vessel carries out “the before & after checks on the delivery on the suppliers’ barge or tanker” by having the vsls rep (surveyor or vsls staff) witness the measurements of the barge tanks figures, opening and closing of barge tank gauges ensure the conversion of agreed volume delivered into the invoiced weight, accurate measurements of the temperature of the fuel at time of delivery
if there are differences in quantity or unusual practices, or behavior, it is to be reported on the spot to all parties concerned including the broker or trader. Simultaneously, it is noted in a Letter of Protest (LOP) immediately and/or if applicable, noted on the BDR where permitted. (Depending on Supplier one can either attach to the BDR the LOP or check a box that there is one attached.) The deliverer should sign for receipt of the LOP, although it does not mean acceptance of the content. The intermediary’s job is to smooth out the differences and help find amicable solutions.
Details of any complaint by either party must be in writing and notification carried out without delays to the other. A broker can perform the exchange more effectively as it is an independent party which can maintain the balance between the receiver and deliverer, speed up and guide the process to amicable resolution.
Sometimes the P&I clubs must get involved.
The speed of supply and duration of bunkering – pumping rates – must be disclosed from the beginning Recommendation to buyers to place stem with sufficient advance notice depending on port, price trend, (i.e.: Singapore – 4-5 working days Nigeria 3-5 working days, Los Angeles 3-5 working days)
An experienced bunker broker service can perform the exchange effectively & diligently, as it is an independent party who can maintain the balance, speed up and guide the process to amicable resolution.
Sometimes the P&I clubs must get involved.
Prime’s Bunkersplus Services www.primeinc.gr
Prime’s Bunkersplus ServicesIntelligent bunker buying solutions
85 Vouliagmeni Ave, City Plaza, Office 309
Glyfada 16674, Athens, Greece
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+30 6932 350044 (Help Desk)
+30 210 963 9153 (Fax)
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