Shipping agencies have expressed concerns after the South African Revenue Service (SARS) detained five foreign vessels, warning that a crackdown on bunker fuel could have dire consequences for Algoa Bay. The South African Maritime Authority had previously announced a moratorium on new licenses for bunkering, but it was recently lifted. However, the impounding of the vessels has caused more than 30 ships to be left waiting for fuel supplies, with only one bunker still operating until its stocks run out. Normally, three bunker barge operators are active in Algoa Bay, which sees around 6,200 vessels conducting bunkering operations each year, selling around 2 million metric tonnes of fuel.
The situation has prompted calls for government intervention, as the lack of fuel supplies could have a significant impact on shipping in the region. Shipping agencies are concerned that the crackdown on bunker fuel could lead to a disaster for Algoa Bay. The impounding of the foreign vessels has left many ships waiting for fuel, with only one bunker currently operational. The lifting of the moratorium on new licenses for bunkering has caused over 30 ships to be left without fuel supplies. The region normally sees around 6,200 vessels conducting bunkering operations each year, selling approximately 2 million metric tonnes of fuel.
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