(EnergyAsia, August 28, Friday) — Caltex Australia said it will enhance its large-scale marine bunkering operations in Queensland after entering into an agreement with the specialist barge operator, Korevaar Marine Group.

The long term agreement will see Korevaar’s double-hulled self-propelled barge Bunker V used by Caltex to refuel a varied market of cruise ships, coastal traders and international cargo vessels on the Brisbane River.

Caltex, the leader in Brisbane’s bunker fuel market, is the main supplier of fuel oil and diesel on the river.

Bunker V, operated by a crew of four, is due to arrive in Brisbane in December and will replace the non-motorised barge Riverside OFL and tug Mina Campbell which are being retired by their operator after serving the Brisbane River for decades.

Bunker V is currently undergoing modifications to ensure it complies with current MARPOL legislation for the prevention of pollution at sea.

When completed, the double-bottomed and double-sided vessel will have eight heavy fuel tanks with a total capacity of 1.06 million litres and two diesel tanks with a 190,000-litre capacity. It will have heated heavy fuel oil tanks to maintain product temperature for efficient pumping, and have individual cargo pumping capabilities for heavy fuel oil and diesel.

Caltex’s senior marine adviser, Phil Hickey, said the agreement would ensure the introduction of safe, reliable and efficient bunker fuel supply operations on the Brisbane River.

“Our decision to enter into this agreement with Korevaar was due to the operator’s wealth of experience in marine operations, including bunkering,” Captain Hickey said.

“There is a strong focus on safety with stringent OH&S protocols adhered to and best industry practice procedures used. That includes an onboard cherry picker to enable safe access to ships for the crew and swing hoses – a design unique to Korevaar and purpose-built in Australia for Australian river conditions.”