Irene Notias’ blog

Our Company

Outsource your Bunker Buying Management and concentrate on what you know best - the running of your vessels.

Prime’s Bunkersplus Services L.P. is an independent bunker-buying management service provider that executes intelligent bunker buying solutions.

An innovative and active player in the Marine Fuel Industry, specializing in the Greek shipping market, since 2002, navigating cost-effective, intelligent bunker buying strategies, side by side with the decision makers, complimenting existing procurement departments.

Prime’s Bunkersplus also provides alternatives from the various major world-wide Traders.

This is the most transparent and cost effective means of buying one’s bunkers.

Our Bunker Buying Management Services provide all-inclusive fuel & lubes tailor made purchasing systems.

As qualified bunker brokers we perform & deliver on all the tasks so that our clients - the buyers - are freed up, running ships.

We establish supplier credit lines with vetted vendors, negotiate prices and terms, nominate bunker orders. Available for follow-up 24/7, with the aim, to make the right choices.

Crude level monitoring second by the second, port, barge, & product availability reports, claims management (prevention & handling), Invoice & BDR chasing, Friendly payment reminders – we do it all for you!

It is no rocket science, but it is complex. You need someone who knows the bunker industry dynamics to hold your hand through the imminent transitions. Our Purchasing Agents are here to help you find the right direction.

Start now.

Our expert purchasing team works round the clock to save you money.

A human “bunker buying tool” for many shipping & chartering companies who appreciate the added value of experience to their buying strategy.

Operating from Greece, our purchasing team, which consists of trading, supply, and broker experienced agents, operate as brokers only and focus on quality client service, credit lines, accurate market information and sustained supplier relations. Always aiming to provide the lowest market prices without compromising quality & reliability.

Our reputation for transparency, care, ethos and high-quality broker services is acknowledged by vendors operating in ports all over the globe. They know that, like them, we’ve set the bar very high. And a happy client is a happy vendor.

Bunker management is a science. Seize the opportunities of the volatile crude markets, ride the waves.

Plan your Bunker buying policy and strategy with unbiased independent brokers now. The challenges regarding the quality of the 0.50% fuel product continue along with the increased prices of the 0.1% MGO and the rise of alternative fuels.

Bunker buyers already face formidable tasks with the many factors in the bunker industry, such as fuel price volatility, time validities, hefty cancellation charges, fuel quality issues, choosing the right counter parties, potential credit crunches and GTCs.

They need assistance from expert bunker brokers to contend with the new era of choosing from the multitude of alternative fuels.

Join our family of clients and leverage the volume for lower prices. Decrease your operating costs using our full shop services.

This year, commemorates 17 years of successful brokering between the bunker & shipping industries. Since 2002, we’ve been providing Greece’s top-tier shipping companies with high-end broker services, for their bunker & lubricant purchases and, above all, peace of mind. Don't ask us, ask them: ADK, Angelicoussis Group, Alpha Bulkers, Chartworld, LMM, Common Progress, Conbulk, Dalnave, Gaslog, Grace Trading Corp LLC, Leon, Lotus Shipping, Meadway, Navios, Pantheon Tankers, Phoenix Shipping, Seaworld, Seaven, Starbulk, TMS, Tsakos Shipping and others.

Prime’s Bunkersplus is a long-standing member of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) and supporter of their Code of Ethics, voicing Greek Shipowners concerns.

Bunker Broker’s maintain a balance between buyers and sellers, with the goal to safeguard both parties’ interests and deliver fuel on time. We handle your inquiries with expertise and CARE.

This shows through our Commitment to Accuracy, Reliability and Excellence.

"People make companies"

Irene Notias

Sr. Bunker Broker
Managing Director

Irene, founder of Prime’s, graduated from Pace University, NYC, with a BBA in International Management & minors in Marketing & Political Science. She later studied psychology and was admitted in the Human Relations Master’s Program at CUNY’s Brooklyn College.

Work experiences at Bear Stearns, IBM, Nichiman America, and Shipping offices in NYC and in Piraeus, namely, Ceres Hellenic, and her own start-up retail business in NYC, have successfully shaped her business and entrepreneurial skills.

Managing and directing a 24/7 bunker broker firm competing in the international arena for almost 2 decades, Irene is a proven business person who has mastered connecting people and ideas, significantly.

She brings value to Prime’s client base with her untainted clarity of vision and diligent market coverage. Her availability, grasp of both the shipping and bunker industry know-how and her business ethics have attracted numerous first-class Greek based ship-owning firms.

Motto in life: IKIGAI : find your sense of purpose and prosper happily.


Sr. Bunker Broker

Thanassis is in the Shipping industry for a long time. First in the crew department of Lemos Maritime and then as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Marine.

He worked at Greece’s major Physical Supplier, MAMIDOIL JETOIL, as a Sales Executive and a bunker supply Operator for over 2 decades. He also was the Supply manager at Greek bunker physical Supplier, PHOENIX OLIEHANDEL, thereafter.

He has 30 years of knowledge and experience in the bunkering industry mainly in purchasing – supplying procedures, handling claims and solving disputes. He is a Graduate of C.I.M. (Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK) focused in sales management. Knowing the bunker supply business very well, his role at Prime’s Bunkersplus is very relevant as he represents the suppliers point of view in the bunker management equation.

Sophia Piha

Office Manager

Sophia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Studies from the University of Piraeus and has worked in bunker brokering/trading businesses for over 20 years.

Her experience in brokering/trading marine fuels, in handling lubricants orders in one of the largest international lubricants physical supplier corporations, and understanding of clients’ needs, equip her to handle after sales, with care and to the fullest. Additionally, as Marketing assistant, she expands her area of expertise with the aim to help Prime’s further promote its excellent reputation and values to its existing clients and welcome new ones.

Company History & Mission


Prime’s Bunkersplus Services is a spin-off of Prime Petroleum Services, Inc. (PPS) which operates in the Bunker Brokering sector by bridging top-tier shipping companies with vetted physical suppliers and re-sellers of marine fuels and lubricants. Founded in 2002, by Irene K. Notias, PPS quickly developed an enviable reputation for professionalism and, within a decade, tripled its client base, became a BP Marine authorized Broker and turned bunker buying into a science. In 2021 Prime’s Bunkersplus became also a SHELL approved bunker broker.


To be a specialized and independent Bunker Broker company in Greece, and to provide added-value, tailor-made solutions with transparency and ethos, to all the stakeholders.


To offer highest-quality services, and to remain agile in our industry’s ever-changing environment, in order to meet the clients’ needs.


We can’t control the tides & currents. However, we have control over the way we perceive and interpret issues, as well as the decisions we make to address them. Therefore, remaining mindful of the needs and supporting high quality standards - going that extra mile - allows us to meet our clients' satisfaction.


We believe in teamwork. A few people working together seamlessly can move mountains, let alone deliver fuel products. Creating synergies is what we excel at. This helps us to create a stable environment which promotes sound decision-making - something our clients find very comforting, given the ever-changing, fast-paced world we all live and work in.

Individual commitment to a common goal is what fuels a team, a company, a society, a civilization.

Vince Lombardi

Daily Market Report

  WED, APR 13, 2022            
ATTN: Bunker Purchasing Dept.          
CRUDE OIL FUTURES @14:30 WTI $102.07/bbl ↑1.47 Brent $106.50/bbl ↑1.86 Gasoil ↑26.50                    
Port VLSFO (0.5%) RMG380 DMA LS Comments/Earl.del.            
PIRAEUS (mtw) 1050-1055 s.i. 1094-1099 firm prices s.i.-avails          
MALTA 910-915 s.i. 1225-1230              
GIBRALTAR (mtd/mtw) 915-920 712-717 1200-1205            
ISTANBUL (mtw) 1005-1010 s.i. 1240-1245              
NOVOROSSIYSK 835-840 580-585 1085-1090              
ROTTERDAM 840-845 635-640 1060-1065            
LAS PALMAS 930-935 717-722 1215-1220              
ALGOA BAY 1030-1035 s.i. 1233-1238 firm prices s.i.-avails          
FUJAIRAH 855-860 725-730 1255-1230            
COLOMBO 985-990 s.i. 1257-1262              
SINGAPORE 850-855 720-725 1110-1115 Apr 15 closed for Catholic Easter            
ZHOUSHAN 863-868 s.i. 1187-1192              
BUSAN 885-890 s.i. 1005-1010              
HOUSTON (mtw)* 869-874 676-681 1179-1184              
PANAMA (mtw)* 852-857 650-655 1195-1200              
RIO DE JANEIRO* 887-892 n.a. 1169-1174              

s.i. = subject inquiry, n.a = not available, s.a. = subj. avails
RME180, DMA & DMB prices, where avail, will be subj to inquiry
Above prices are not firm - only indicative of the market at the time they were documented & basis 30 days payment terms.

* Due to time zone difference or holiday, prices for these ports are yesterday’s closing *

  • Prompt deliveries (before the earliest dates) may be possible but at high premiums
  • Movements in prices are basis the respective port’s product & barge availability besides crude levels.
  • Since no one is a fortune teller there are no indicative prices for future delivery dates.
  • All prices above are in US$ per mtd unless otherwise specified. (mtw) = additional transportation charges


Bunker Procedures & Standards



  • Check all information on Bunker Requisition Form or equivalent which is presented by the Supplier, via the barge. If there are any changes regarding quantity or quality, immediately communicate with the appropriate contact person (ie: broker or trader) in order to verify the details.

  • Witness and confirm the initial measurements and ullaging onboard the barge before and the measurement after the delivery takes place. Check and measure all the tanks, including actual temperature of cargo, and any idle tanks (said not to be included in the particular supply).

  • Compare measurements and verify the quantities as per barge ullages tables. When in full agreement, sign the ullage/sounding report for Before Supply figures.

  • If any disagreements with the measurements, temperature and thereby figures please advise this on the Sounding form or, if not allowed, on separate Letter of Protest (make sure to obtain signature and stamp from barge Master for receipt).

  • If surveyor attends, ensure the surveyor also participates in the measuring procedures before supply and verifies the figures.


  • Watchman to witness safe and proper operation and correct sampling. The watchman ensures continuous drip sampling throughout the delivery and that devices used for sampling are clean.

  • Watchman to witness proper and correct division into minimum 4 (four) clean and new identical sample bottles, including proper labeling and sealing of ALL samples. Make sure original sample (cubitainer) is shaken vigorously for 3 minutes before splitting into the 4 sample bottles and that bottles are filled in several passes. All seal numbers to be inserted into the Bunker Delivery Receipt (BDR). The MARPOL sample must be one of these samples drawn under witnessing.

  • Watchman to pay special attention to the bunker hose, and any not agreed attempts to transfer air via same should cause immediate stoppage unless the use of air is caused by stripping of barge tanks, which stripping to be agreed in advance by both parties. If air is blown on continued basis, and stoppage on the supply not possible, for any reason, the incident to be reported in a Letter of Protest (LOP), which should also contain the time (hours from/to) that air blow was noticed.

  • In order to avoid "Cappuccino effect" pay special attention and take all necessary precautions reg the below:

  • During tank measurements, notify the seller, supplier or broker of any signs of air on the measuring tape used for ullaging.

  • Search for any signs of bubbles or similar on the surface of the fuel when it is still onboard the barge.

  • Agree with the barge ops when and if they are going to make stripping of the tanks.

  • Check and note the draft fore, mid and aft on the barge before and after supply to compare.

  • If any signs at all of cappuccino or similar (except eventual stripping, agreed in advance), please stop the supply immediately and compare supply quantities made so far.

  • Immediately contact office vessel operator in charge and request notification to the Seller or Supplier.

  • If surveyor attending, surveyor signs the Letter of Protest, also.

  • Stop the bunker delivery and wait minimum 1 hour for bubbles to disappear and re-measure the barge jointly with barge Master.


  • Repeat the measurement, sounding and ullaging of the barge, including verification of temperature of each tank.

  • Verify contents of ALL tanks, including the idle ones.

  • Ullage Report must be signed by all parties involved, including the surveyor.

  • Any disagreements regarding figures (mm, temperature) requires a Letter of Protest to be issued, and any specific disagreements to be stated on the Ullage report regarding completion of delivery.

  • Receiving Vessel to immediately inform differences in writing, on the spot, by Letter of Protest (LOP) attached to the BDN or BDR (Bunker Delivery Receipt) and copy to the Seller or Broker via e-mail.

1. Singapore Sampling pdf file (click to open)
1. New Singapore Delivery Method pdf file (click to open)
1. BIMCO terms pdf file (click to open)

PREVENTING BUNKER CLAIMS - a free guide – part 1 of 2

September 19, 2019, revised Jan 3 2020.

by Irene Notias

Using the new compliant fuels VLSFO 0.50% max Sulphur limit iis very likely going to increase bunker claims.

To make work life easier and for the sake of good order, Prime’s Bunkersplus is offering the Greek Shipping community a free brief guide to Prevent Bunker Claims, in two parts.

“We care about using valuable time and energy for more productive aims rather than arguing/negotiating a claim with a Supplier or Trader”, says Managing Director, Ms. Notias.

Most disputes are avoidable when the proper steps are taken, and all parties involved leave out emotion/prejudgments, get to the facts swiftly and in concise & clear documentation.

Gain Bunker Knowledge.

The Bunker Industry functions under ISO 8217 specs and has a set of General Terms & Conditions which have been adopted by ever supplier and trader. First and foremost, know them. Understand the Suppliers Terms & Conditions and the Bunker Confirmations and that the suppliers are ship owners who deal with logistics and personnel too. Suppliers must also understand that customers are king and not the other way around. Bunker Broker, Irene Notias always says, “without customers there are no suppliers.”

As all buyers, suppliers, traders and brokers say: it is far easier to avoid a disagreement than to try to resolve one afterwards. Both stakeholders must play ethically by the common rules. Take bunker courses offered by the International Bunker Industry or Petrospot.

A brief Guide to effectively managing bunker disputes is available, but “Preventing Bunker Claims” is best to learn first.

Types of claims:

Owner side:

  1. Quality
  2. Quantity
  3. Demurrage, Vessel delay due to Bunker barge

Supplier side:

  1. Barge delay by vessel (demurrage)
  2. Cancellation charge due to cancelled stem
  3. Change in price due to Postings change
  4. Interest charge for delayed payment

Checklist to prevent problems:

1. Quality

ensure suppliers specs are provided & know the spec minimums
ensure that the vsls rep (surveyor or vsls staff) witness the sampling collection from the barge
avoid suppliers that are known to have questionable fuel sources and blending techniques
even if fuel is not within the spec, it can be used if treated in accordance with guidelines issued by the major fuel testing organizations because resolution of pumping out of the bunkers delivered and replacing with fresh product is rare.
If the fuel oil is off spec containing phenols, oxygenated material, fatty acids and chemical waste then it's not treatable at all, it's a safety risk and the only sound and logical solution is de-bunkering
Always provide documentation in case needed in a more legal arena.

2. Quantity

ensure that the receiving vessel carries out “the before & after checks on the delivery on the suppliers’ barge or tanker” by having the vsls rep (surveyor or vsls staff) witness the measurements of the barge tanks figures, opening and closing of barge tank gauges
ensure the conversion of agreed volume delivered into the invoiced weight, accurate measurements of the temperature of the fuel at time of delivery

if there are differences in quantity or unusual practices, or behavior, it is to be reported on the spot to all parties concerned including the broker or trader. Simultaneously, it is noted in a Letter of Protest (LOP) immediately and/or if applicable, noted on the BDR where permitted. (Depending on Supplier one can either attach to the BDR the LOP or check a box that there is one attached.) The deliverer should sign for receipt of the LOP, although it does not mean acceptance of the content. The intermediary’s job is to smooth out the differences and help find amicable solutions.

Details of any complaint by either party must be in writing and notification carried out without delays to the other. A broker can perform the exchange more effectively as it is an independent party which can maintain the balance between the receiver and deliverer, speed up and guide the process to amicable resolution.

Sometimes the P&I clubs must get involved.

3. & 4. - Vessels Delay / Barge delay

The speed of supply and duration of bunkering – pumping rates – must be disclosed from the beginning
Recommendation to buyers to place stem with sufficient advance notice depending on port, price trend, (i.e.: Singapore – 4-5 working days Nigeria 3-5 working days, Los Angeles 3-5 working days)

  • Ensure the Agent coordinates between vessel, supplier and barge co. For example, agents coordinate the barge co not the suppliers in South Africa or in any port when stem was placed on: Short notice, Friday, Before national holidays
  • Ensure that Agent contacts the Supplier for the coordination of the delivery dates by giving ample notice of 72, 48, 36, 24, 12, 8, 6, 4 hours notices.

An experienced bunker broker service can perform the exchange effectively & diligently, as it is an independent party who can maintain the balance, speed up and guide the process to amicable resolution.

Sometimes the P&I clubs must get involved.

Prime’s Bunkersplus Services

Inquiry & Contact

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Prime’s Bunkersplus Services

Intelligent bunker buying solutions
85 Vouliagmeni Ave, City Plaza, Office 309
Glyfada 16674, Athens, Greece
+30 210 963 9140 (Telephone)
+30 6932 350044 (Help Desk)
+30 210 963 9153 (Fax)
At your Service!