China Petroleum (NYSE:SNP)
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Marine fuel supplier Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. said Tuesday that it has signed a preliminary agreement with China Changjiang Bunker (Sinopec) Co. to provide bunker supplies to each other's customers in markets worldwide.
"We are extending our global reach to mainland China, enabling Aegean to establish an initial footprint in some of the world's largest ports," Dimitris Melisanidis, head of corporate development at Aegean, said.
Under the agreement, to be effective in the second quarter, Aegean will supply bunker fuel oil to China Changjiang's customers in 19 countries throughout North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Aegean said in a statement.
China Changjiang, one of the few licensed bonded bunker suppliers in China, will cater to bunker demand of Aegean customers at Chinese ports, including all Changjiang River ports and coastal ports of Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Taizhou, Changzhou, Jiangyin, Nantong, Changshu, Zhangjiagang, Taiccang, Shanghai [excluding Yangshan], Ningbo, Tianjin, Dalian and Qingdao, which is scheduled to open by the end of 2012.
Aegean will now be able to enter the rapidly-growing Chinese marine fuel market, which caters to some of the busiest ports in the world and was until a few years ago monopolized by state-run Chimbusco.
Chimbusco is still the top bunker seller in the country, where bonded bunker sales often reach 1.20 million metric tons a month.
Chinese bunker players have been expanding their own supply network globally. One of the most prominent among them, Brightoil Petroleum, emerged as the second-largest marine fuel supplier in Singapore, the world's largest bunkering port.
"[Aegean's] bunkering network throughout the world provides a good choice for us to offer integrated marine fuel services to customers outside the Chinese market," Jinghan Yao, a board member and General Manager at China Changjiang, said.
-By Gurdeep Singh, Dow Jones Newswires; 65-6415 4064; email@example.com