Mauritius is strategically positioned on the South-South trade corridor which represents an annual USD 3.75 trillion in maritime trade. With some 30,000 vessels passing the country’s maritime zone annually, the bunker segment has experienced a sustained average growth of 13% per annum since 2004 to reach some 660,000 M, representing a market estimated at some USD 250M per annum. However, this volume represents roughly 13% of the current regional demand, estimated at 5,000,000 metric tonnes. Government target to increase bunker sales at Port-Louis to 1,000,000 MT by 2025 and 1,500,000 by 2027.
The rapid growth of the bunkering sector is attributed to the gradual liberalization of bunker trade in Mauritius. Moreover, in a bid to achieve the set target, a series of incentives have been established ranging from discounts of port charges to tax benefits. In its quest to positioning itself on the charter of international bunker traders and shipping lines, Mauritius has adopted best international practices in terms of environmental and operational standards as well as product quality assurance monitoring.
There are currently seven licensed operators engaged in bunker operations at Port-Louis, delivering different types of marine fuels both by pipeline at quay and by bunker barges.
- Bunker trade by pipeline with onshore storage
- Bunker trade by exclusively by barge
- Bunker trade by barge supported with onshore storage
- Paper bunker trading servicing clients calling at Mauritius
- Paper bunker trading servicing international clients not calling to Mauritius
Mauritius offers several competitive advantages to demarcate itself as a competitive bunkering destination, which includes the following:
- Exemption from excise duty and VAT on bunker fuel including for bunker barges operating within Ports-Limits
- Corporate tax exemption from bunker trade in IFO 380
- Exemption from environmental levy
- Discounted prices on port charges (port dues & anchorage fees) by the MPA.