AFRICA: new player enters Mauritius bunker market; makes first delivery.
‘We are a niche, well-financed company wanting to make a move into the commercial fuels market,’ Stonewin’s Morten Hoxer tells Bunkerspot.
Established in 2014, Stonewin has built up its supply business in the defence and security sector, delivering fuel to military bases and naval vessels. It has offices in Dubai, the UK and Latvia, and, according to Hoxer, already has business contracts in the African market.
The company is headed by Alexander Schaltuper as CEO. A main shareholder in Stonewin, he has a 20-year track record in the oil industry, and has worked at the large commodity traders Glencore and Trafigura. COO Tariq Osman joined Stonewin in 2016 to grow the company’s government contract procurement activities, and Morten Hoxer came onboard in 2018 to develop its marine bunkering business.
Hoxer joined Stonewin from Monjasa where he was most recently Head of Northwest Europe with oversight of terminals in Latvia, Denmark and the UK.
The company officially began operations at Port Louis on 2 January and Hoxer confirmed that the first physical delivery was undertaken last week.
Stonewin is using the 2008-built, double-hulled bunker barge, M/T Hakkasan, for deliveries; this vessel was previously chartered by Bomin, which is understood to have exited the Mauritius market. The company is using floating storage for its products.
The company can supply heavy fuel oil and marine gasoil and all supplies will be under its own bunker delivery note.
Asked why Stonewin has chosen Port Louis to make its first foray into the commercial market, Hoxer referenced the company’s previous experience in the African market through its core operations and noted that Mauritius ‘is a niche market – it is not a traditional bunker hub.
‘It is a good location for safe bunkering, serving vessels on east/west routes.
‘It is good to have physical bunkering operations – everyone will tell you that – and this opportunity came up and we did our homework,’ he explained.
Hoxer would not be drawn as to whether Stonewin has plans to extend its geographical reach in its commercial bunkering business.
‘We want to develop in the marine market by natural growth, our focus is supplying good quality products – and we are looking forward to 2020.’