IBC Honorary awards

The intent of IBC Honorary awards is to honor Industry Professionals who have made a major contribution to all aspects of the Bunker Industry in particular and shipping industry in general. 

This contribution must extend beyond the individual's work of employment and should exist in several areas. 

This may be sharing their knowledge through training, service to development of standards, guidelines and regulations, research, and last but not least contributing to the success of IBC through participating either as a speaker or participant.

IBC Honorary award 2023

ROBIN MEECH, Managing Director of Marine and Energy Consulting (MECL)

Marine and Energy Consulting is an independent consultancy practice based in the UK focusing on the marine industry with an emphasis on the transport of energy.

He has a particular interest in the bunker sector where he has undertaken assignments for ship owners, the Majors as well as independent traders and national oil companies. He advises companies in the bunker sector on environmental issues, forming alliances, purchasing strategies, organization, new business ventures, logistics, IT systems and e-business.

He has been at the forefront of advocating the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems advising EGCS manufactures, undertaking viability analysis for retrofitting and new build installations of exhaust gas cleaning systems as well as advising on financing EGCS. He advocates a turn key approach to installing EGCS.

Robin has also undertaken numerous terminal feasibility analysis to support petroleum product trading and bunker operations. A number of these have included assessing the needs and economics of utilizing bunker barges leading to negotiations with barge owner/operators as well as assessing the owners viability and competence.

In the past, Robin was appointed as a director of a Norwegian privately owned tanker and marine service company where he was responsible for developing new business ventures and assumed responsibility for the restructuring of the Group so that it was better equipped to pursue new projects.  

Robin also has comprehensive experience in environmental issues including having been a member of IMO Steering Committee advising to the introduction of the global cap in 2020 as well as advising the EU on marine emissions issues.

He is co-author of the book “Bunkers – An Analysis of the Technical and Environmental Issues” and is the current past chairman of the International Bunker Industry Association.

At the age of 81, Robin is still an active contributor to the bunker industry and he has been a presenter at numerous IBC’s through it’s 40 plus year history. The award of IBC's Honorary reward 2023 was a matter of course and we are thrilled that Robin has accepted to join us to celebrate his contribution to not only IBC, but the industry, at the 42nd International Bunker Conference in May

IBC Honorary award 2022


Bob ThorntonManager Fuel Oil Quality, World Fuel Services

Bob, who’s influence in shaping all sides of the bunker industry is undeniable, has been chosen as the first ever to receive the IBC Honorary Reward and was our Guest of Honor at the 41st IBC held 10-12 May 2022 onboard M/V Color Fantasy

Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine engineering, a Master of Science in Transportation management. He has been a port state control officer with the US Coast Guard, and had several jobs within the marine industry before he became responsible for the international marine fuel quality and facilities at Exxon International including Exxon’s bunker fuels specifications, Marine terminals, barging operations and specifications of all residual fuels, motor gasoline distillate fuels, LPG and asphalt products marketed by Esso/Exxon outside of the US.

After a long career with Exxon his expertise was sought after by World Fuels where he joined in…..and dealt with product quality again, support and training, supplier vetting, barge and terminal operations, in addition to cargo quality, customer training as well as developing the company’s 2020 strategy.

On the side he has been the chairman of the ASTM fuel section, Longest standing member of the ISO technical group currently working on the revision of 8217 (yes, still active) as a result of the MARPOL Annex VI Sulphur reduction in 2020.

He has represented the Bahamian authorities to IMO and participated in the development of MARPOL Annex VI.

He is also a visible and active part of the CIMAC heavy fuels working group, as well as OCIMF joint industry group this in addition to being in the technical and marine fuels committee of the Singapore Shipping association and chairman of the Mass Flow Meter subcommittee. Finally he is also a member of the methanol institute strategic task force on IMO IGF code matter


IBC Honorary award Mr Bob Thornton receives the IBC Honorary award at IBC 2022