Friday, December 12, 2014

Aegean Marine Petroleum Purchases OW Bunker Assets

By Mark Edward Nero

Marine fuel logistics company Aegean Marine Petroleum Network said Dec. 10 that it has agreed to acquire 28,567 metric tons of marine fuel and assume a storage contract with Vopak Terminal Los Angeles for a total purchase price of about $11 million at an auction of the assets of bankrupt ship fuel supplier OW Bunker.

“This transaction is aligned with Aegean’s strategy to opportunistically enter new markets,” Aegean Marine Petroleum Network President E. Nikolas Tavlarios said. “We have focused on building a strong and flexible financial position over the years, and as a result were able to act quickly on this unique opportunity to further strengthen and diversify our operating footprint.

Tavlarios also said that having a presence at the Vopak storage terminal in Los Angeles is expected to substantially broaden Aegean’s access to the marine fuel markets of the US West Coast, and in so doing, round out Aegean’s profile as a global marine fuel provider.

OW Bunker, which has three offices in the US, including one in downtown Long Beach, California, filed for bankruptcy in November, blaming the occurrence on falling fuel prices and mismanagement, among other factors.

Greece-based Aegean, which physically supplies refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea, says it expects to integrate much of the former OW Bunker operating infrastructure in Los Angeles-Long Beach into the Aegean organization and begin operations at the Vopak Terminal during the first quarter of 2015.

Currently, Aegean has a global presence in 27 markets, including Vancouver, Mexico and the US East Coast.