Bunkering in the port of Gibraltar
Gibraltar is one of the largest and busiest bunkering ports in the Mediterranean, and captures demand from some of the more than 60,000 vessels transiting through the Gibraltar Strait each year. The port is located adjacent to the airport which allows hassle free crew transfers and ship spare part mobility.
Most of the bunkering happens at Gibraltar’s western anchorage, which has around 14 sheltered anchorage positions. The port’s eastern anchorage, on the other hand, is largely used for non-bunkering activities such as repairs and crew changes.
Three physical bunker suppliers offer LSMGO in Gibraltar, two suppliers offer VLSFO and HSFO grades. Stems are usually delivered by barges to vessels anchored in Gibraltar, but bunker delivery vessels can also go alongside docked vessels in the port.
LNG bunkering has been possible in the Gibraltar Strait since 2021. A 7,500 cbm-capacity LNG bunker delivery vessel has been deployed off Gibraltar. Another 12,500 cbm-capacity vessel is expected to be fully operational in the Gibraltar Straits region in 2023. With ample LNG bunker supply capacity in the Mediterranean, bunker vessels deployed in other relatively nearby locations can also be brought into the Gibraltar Strait to supply there.
Biofuel bunker blends are available with several suppliers in Gibraltar Strait ports and supply is backed by nearby production at Spanish biofuel plants.
The Bunkering Code of Practice imposes stringent regulations, giving the Government of Gibraltar top priority to safety and environmental issues. The port authority’s bunkering superintendents continuously monitor bunker operations in the port. Gibraltar is also an associate member of Oil Spill Response Ltd (OSRL) of Southampton.
Bulk carriers, crude tankers, oil products and chemical tankers are Gibraltar’s most regular visitors, and the port of capable of handling vessels of a range of different sizes and types. Cruise ships also call regularly at Gibraltar.