Jan 22, 2024

AI Energy Group has called on stakeholders especially regulators to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the bunker industry in order to attract buyers in the African markets. 

Speaking at the International Bunker and Industry Association (IBIA)’s Bunker Shipping conference in Accra, the Business Development Manager at AI Energy Group, Theodora Ashare said though the African bunkering industry  was promising, there were however challenges that needed tactical measures to address them. 

He said, “Sometimes when a supply is pending, you need to go through GMA, Customs, NPA etc. just to get approvals to supply fuel to these vessels, sometimes because all the systems are not digitalized or synchronized, it’s a bit challenging to get the approvals as promptly as you would like to”. 

She also indicated that though the African seas are faced with security challenges, particularly piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, there has however been some significant improvement and therefore entreated investors not to be discouraged by past events and bunker in African seas. 

Francis Kwofie, Manager, Process and Compliance at AI Energy Group for his part also appealed to Associations such as IBIA and other stakeholders to conduct research and project the quality products in the bunker value chain to help mitigate negative perceptions which are sometimes associated with the African bunker industry. 

Panelists who discussed topics such as “navigating Regulatory changes: Impacts on African Bunker Market, Adaptation in the Bunker Business among others said that the supply of fuel to vessels could improve if stakeholders especially regulators in the sector collaborated with an objective to improve bunkering trade in the African market. 

According to the panelists, structures for bunker trade, disparities in pricing, licensing among others which were some of the major challenges facing the industry would improve with better collaboration. 

The three-day conference which started on Tuesday, September 5 to Thursday, September 7 also brought together some key players in the bunker trade from various African countries as well as Europe who discussed the latest opportunities and challenges in the bunker and shipping industry. 

The 5th edition featured over 20 speakers who did not only throw a spotlight on the bunkering business in the African market but also challenges and opportunities in the bunkering industry as well as opportunities and strategies for growth. 

AI Energy Group offers unique offshore bunkering experience with real time pictorial and video automated hourly updates to clients while supply right products to its clients. 

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) was formed in 1992 to provide an international forum to address the concerns of all sectors of the bunker industry. 

It is a global network of bunker industry experts who collectively form the world’s leading authority on bunkers. The Association offers pragmatic advice to its members to manage the industry’s challenges as it works to shape and influence both international and local legislation. 

Present at the conference also include government officials from the Ministry of Energy, regulators, Agencies, operators in the bunker and shipping value chain.



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