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The digital bunker fuel and lubricants platform Bulugo, which opened for business at the start of the year, can offer buyers external unsecured finance of up to $20 million under an exclusive agreement with supply chain finance provider, Whitehall Finance.

Noting that the implementation of IMO 2020 and the economic disruption caused by the subsequent pandemic has had a significant impact on the marine credit market, Bulugo says that its credit facility offering will give ship operators the ability to quickly settle supplier invoices whilst optimising their own cash flow.

Bulugo can offer payment terms of up to 120 days for buyers on a revolving credit account.

Partnership Director Grant Norton, Bulugo, commented on the new finance offering: ‘Whilst the traditional bunker market has been ready for digital disruption for some time, we believe the reason why the pace of adoption has been so slow is partly due to the lack of substantive lines of credit offered to buyers via the digitisation route.

‘Our exclusive partnership with Whitehall Finance will give Bulugo customers that option.’

Peter Rossi, Bulugo’s Chief Technical Officer, added: ‘The Whitehall Finance team have built a next generation platform that allows us to seamlessly integrate our technology with theirs, providing our customers with a unified quoting, purchasing and credit journey.’

Fuel and lubes buyers are able to sign up once for the facility, agree the terms and then manage their transactions through the Bulugo portal. At present, the Whitehall Finance’s credit offering is only available to UK-based operators, but it may be expanded on an international basis 'over the coming months'.

As reported by Bunkerspot, Bulugo unveiled its new online platform in February, noting that it would help ship operators to source marine fuels and lubricants in ports across the world with ‘fast and transparent pricing’.

Ship operators can search an online database of potential suppliers across several criteria – including fuel type, port, date of availability and compliance with IMO sulphur regulations. They can also filter products to find compliant fuel and purchase the appropriate lubricants at the same time.

At the platform’s launch, Bulugo operations director Adrian Phillimore highlighted the need for the bunker industry to ‘embrace digitalisation’ to overcome the challenges posed by IMO 2020 and shipping’s decarbonisation.

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