LNG Bunkering Gaining Momentum


With the industry’s shift to green shipping – LNG gaining recognition as a clean fuel and in most cases – fuel of choice for the maritime industry, LNG bunkering is now gaining popularity globally and is being undertaken by various players in the field.

KLAW LNG informs, “LNG Bunkering is the practice of providing liquefied natural gas fuel to a ship for its own consumption. The key advantage of LNG as a fuel is the vast reduction in pollutant caused by the more traditional method of fuelling ships such as heavy fuel oil, marine diesel fuel (MDO) and marine gas oil (MGO).

LNG bunkering

Environmental regulatory pressure is building to cut emissions caused through ship transportation. It is this imposition of stricter sulphur content limits to marine bunker fuel that is driving LNG Bunkering system design as well as the construction of a LNG fuelling infrastructure.”

The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel predicts that 2018 will be the “tipping year” for the adoption of LNG bunkering. “We have witnessed such significant increase in the number of projects and infrastructure recently and this is undoubtedly something we can all further look forward to as the greater maritime industry begins to . . . realise the tremendous benefits of gas-fuelled shipping,” said SGMF general manager Mark Bell in a statement. “I have been asked many times recently: ‘when will be the tipping point for gas-fuelled shipping?’ and I believe that . . . there won’t have been any specific moment we can point to. What I do think there will have been is an entire year – and that ‘tipping year’ is surely going to be 2018.”

The LNG Bunkering Summit 2019 adds, “It is clear that the industry must focus on partnerships and collaboration at a global level to drive LNG forward as the fuel of the future.”

“In its 6th year, the Annual LNG Bunkering Summit will unite global players from leading ports, LNG terminal operators, ship operators, ship owners, LNG suppliers, and LNG technology providers to develop strategic partnerships and common strategy to drive the LNG Bunkering market forward.”

In August last year, UK witnessed it’s first LNG bunkering. The project saw saw a 110-meter cement carrier named Ireland – operated by Norwegian shipping firm KGJ Cement AS – refueled with LNG at the Port of Immingham. At this time, Lee Gannon, Managing Director at Flogas, said, “There is great potential for LNG in the maritime industry as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional oil-based bunker fuels, but until now this potential has remained untapped here in the UK.”

The first LNG bunkering of a ship, whilst it was loading, took place in the port of Gothenburg, in October last year. On the occasion, Dan-Erik Andersson, Gothenburg Port Authority Operations Manager at the Energy Port, said, “Even 5-10 years ago the idea of ships running on liquefied natural gas would have almost been regarded as science fiction. Now we have had seven LNG-bunkerings here in less than a month. It would be no exaggeration to describe this as a major breakthrough.”

Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “as the world’s largest bunkering hub, MPA will support future demand by promoting the development of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering. This will provide the industry greater confidence in the availability of LNG supply across key shipping routes.”

The Global LNG Bunkering Market is expected to cross USD 12 billion by 2024, according to a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. With many milestones in the LNG bunkering domain being accomplished last year, the future is limitless for this clean fuel.

Sea News Feature, February 21