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Fratelli Cosulich to start physical bunker supply in Bandar Abbas in early-2017

Fratelli Cosulich to start physical bunker supply in Bandar Abbas in early-2017
Genoa-based Fratelli Cosulich will start physical bunker supply operations in Bandar Abbas, Iran in early 2017, materialising a joint venture business with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

The launch of the fuel supply business in Bandar Abbas, Iran's main bunkering port, will be Fratelli Cosulich's second physical supply operations in addition to the existing Singapore operations.

“Our next big project is in Iran where we have been working on this for the last one and a half years,” Timothy Cosulich, ceo of Fratelli Cosulich, told Seatrade Maritime News on the sidelines of the SIBCON conference held in Singapore on Wednesday.

“With sanctions finally lifted for Iran, the country is opening up and there is a lot of growth potential, but still it is not an easy country to operate in as you need to establish strong relationships with the local people,” Cosulich said.

Family-owned Fratelli Cosulich and state-owned IRISL have set up a joint venture to offer bunkering services in Bandar Abbas port, and Fratelli Cosulich will act as a general agent in Italy for IRISL. Apart from its core business of bunker trading, Fratelli Cosulich also offers services in ship agencies, catering, management, freight forwarding, manning, and insurance broking.

“Next week we will officially open the Fratelli Cosulich Tehran office, and together with our existing Dubai office we aim to penetrate the Middle East market,” Cosulich said.

He pointed out that the bunkering growth potential in Bandar Abbas is huge given its proximity to Fujairah port that sells on average 14m tonnes of bunkers a year. “Bandar Abbas can potentially be an alternative bunkering port to Fujairah,” he said. There is no decision yet on how many bunker tankers Fratelli Cosulich intends to deploy in Iran.

For Fratelli Cosulich's current physical supply operations in Singapore, the company operates four bunker tankers of 4,000-6,500 dwt in capacity, and all have been installed with mass flow meters. With bunker sales of approximately 170,000 tonnes per month in Singapore, Cosulich believed volumes will continue to grow and the company is looking to deploy one more 5,000-6,000 dwt bunker tanker into the city-port.