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INTERVIEW: 80-90 times YOY growth for Singapore LNG bunkering volumes in 2021, says FueLNG

A number of LNG-fuelled container vessels and tankers have confirmed their term bunkering plans from Singapore; sector poised for sharp growth with delivery of FueLNG Bellina, says General Manager.




Saunak MT

The following interview arranged by Conference Connection is part of pre-event coverage for the upcoming 12th International Fujairah Bunkering & Fuel Oil Forum (FUJCON 2021), where Manifold Times is an official media partner. Readers can register for the virtual event by clicking on the link here.

Bunkering volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Singapore port is set to grow by up to 90 times in 2021 compared to last year, says the General Manager of licensed LNG bunker supplier FueLNG, a locally formed joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd.

“In 2020, most of the regular LNG bunkering in Singapore have been carried out by truck-to-ship, although the number of operations is in 100’s the actual bunkered volume is rather limited,” Saunak Rai tells Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

“With the commencement of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in Singapore from 2021, we are expecting about an 80 to 90 times increase in annual LNG bunkering volumes at Singapore port.”

According to Rai, major factors contributing to the growth will be due to the availability of FueLNG Bellina – Singapore’s first dedicated LNG bunker vessel (LBV) – back by the republic’s status as a major container port, wherein LNG bunkering can be carried out within the time for cargo operations, resulting in time efficiency.

The development will be further supported by the earlier release of updated TR56 recommendations for LNG bunkering in Singapore, which provides certainty of regulations and detailed guidance for successful LNG Bunkering operations, together with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) initiatives incentivizing Singapore Ship Owners investing in reducing cO2 emissions and reduction in port dues to LNG-fuelled vessels calling at Singapore.

“The outlook for Singapore’s LNG bunkering sector appears very bright. A number of LNG-fuelled container vessels and tankers have already confirmed their term bunkering plans from Singapore and we are also seeing spot interests from bulk carriers and car carriers,” he adds.

“FueLNG has been an early mover, and ordered a LBV speculatively in 2016 even though the LNG bunker demand pipeline was not well formulated in Singapore. This decision gave us an immediate advantage now, having a LBV operational in Singapore.”

To date, FueLNG has carried out over 300 truck-to-ship LNG bunkering operations in Singapore, notes Rai.

“We have continuously learned and improved from these operations, making each new operation more efficient than the previous one,” he says.

“We have also shared our feedback with various government authorities and provided them with recommendations to increase efficiency of the logistics chain. A number of these have been accepted and implemented.”

Rai believes Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub for traditional marine fuels, is on the right track to also become the world’s largest LNG bunkering port.

“Singapore has unique advantages of geographical location, efficient marine ecosystem, diverse infrastructure and robust regulations. This has a played a big role in it becoming the world’s largest bunkering hub [traditional marine fuels],” he explains.

“To continue the growth and reach the level of world’s largest LNG bunkering hub, Singapore needs to look into further infrastructure investment for LNG loading facilities, and also focus on further reducing logistics costs.”

Moving forward, Rai notes Fujairah and U.A.E. already having many attributes needed to succeed as a LNG bunkering hub; such as access to cheap LNG from regional LNG producers in UAE and Qatar, a geographical location near major shipping traffic, an efficient Marine ecosystem, and the Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) FSRU which can be utilised as a loading facility for LNG Bunker vessels.

“Now, what is needed is a mechanism to incentivise the early adopters, both on the supply as well as the demand side,” he observes.

“In addition, clear guidance on rules and regulations regulating LNG bunkering in Fujairah needs to established in consultation with local industries and LNG Bunkering experts.”

Note: Saunak Rai will be speaking at Session 6: Post 2020 Future Fuels Landscape: Outlook for LNG, Hydrogen, Methanol & Biofuels at FUJCON 2021.


Photo credit: FueLNG
Published: 11 March, 2021

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan’s first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.





Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, on Wednesday (19 June) said it has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping and Fukuju Shipping for Japan's first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships. 

The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI's proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. 

The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. 

In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.


Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Maersk and Nike to christen methanol-fuelled boxship at Port of Los Angeles in August

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers, the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor.






A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) on Wednesday (19 June) said it will be christening one of the world’s first methanol-enabled vessels when it arrives in Los Angeles this August.

The firm invited the public to go aboard the container ship in Los Angeles.

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers (TEU), the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor on Tuesday, August 27. 

Maersk’s CEO Vincent Clerc will be on hand, alongside special guest speakers from Nike and leading state and local officials. Nike is a partner in the name-giving event.

“Nike is committed to protecting the future of sport and we leverage science-based targets to guide us through our Move to Zero journey,” said Venkatesh Alagirisamy, Nike Chief Supply Chain Officer.

“Operating one of the largest supply chains in the world, we have a responsibility to advance the innovation and use of more sustainable methods that get us closer to zero carbon and zero waste. By working with suppliers like Maersk, who share our commitment to sustainability, we are scaling our use of biofuels in ocean transportation, our main first-mile delivery channel.”

“This event is not only an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable engineering achievement, but the chance to highlight that we can navigate towards more sustainable supply chains if we work together,” said Charles van der Steene, Regional President for Maersk North America.

On Wednesday, August 28, Maersk invites the public to tour the 350-meter-long vessel, which will be sailing from Asia. Visitors will be able to see the Sailors’ living quarters and even stand on the bridge from where the captain controls the vessel. Public tours will require visitors register for a free ticket via an online registration site that will be activated and announced in August.

This is the fifth container vessel in Maersk’s fleet that can sail on green methanol bunker fuel.


Photo credit: A.P. Moller – Maersk
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Methanol Institute: Innovative developments and strategic collaborations (Week 24, 10-16 June 2024)

This week highlights notable advancements in methanol fuel technology, strategic partnerships, and industry analyses, underscoring the maritime sector’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fuel solutions.





Methanol Institute logo

The Methanol Institute, provides an exclusive weekly commentary on developments related to the adoption of methanol as a bunker fuel, including significant related events recorded during the week, for the readers of bunkering publication Manifold Times:

The past week saw further additions to the potential capacity for production of methanol with announcement of a new facility using waste biomass to create biomethanol for the maritime market. Elsewhere, plans for additional port storage was announced at key ports in China. Finally, analysis by Ship & bunker shows that almost half of the bunker capacity represented by the newbuilding orderbook will be powered by alternative fuels.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 24 of 2024:

Norway to Develop Bio-e-Methanol Production Facility

Date: June 10, 2024

Key Points: Glocal Green and Norwegian Hydrogen are partnering to build a bio-e-methanol plant in Øyer, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. The facility will produce 10,000 metric tonnes of bio-e-methanol annually, using hydrogen and CO2 from bio-waste and wood waste. The project aims to support the maritime sector's transition to green fuels, leveraging local renewable resources to create sustainable methanol, thus contributing to Norway's environmental goals and the broader global push for cleaner energy solutions.

Green Marine Fuels and Vopak Collaborate on Green Methanol Storage Facilities

Date: June 12, 2024

Key Points: Green Marine Fuels Trading and Vopak have announced a strategic partnership to develop green methanol storage facilities at key ports, including Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang in China. This collaboration aims to expand the infrastructure needed to support the growing demand for green methanol as a sustainable marine fuel. The facilities will enhance the supply chain for green methanol, aligning with global efforts to decarbonize the shipping industry and promote the use of alternative fuels.

Global Orderbook Analysis: Conventional vs. Alternative Bunker Fuel Demand

Date: June 13, 2024

Key Points: An analysis of the global newbuilding orderbook, conducted by Ship and Bunker, reveals that of a total 33.8 million tonnes (mt) of bunker demand, alternative fuelled ships represent 46% or 15.6mt of bunker demand.

Methanol accounts for 3.2 mt (10%) compared to 10.5mt (31%) for LNG, a figure skewed by the vast orderbook for LNG carriers which partly use their cargo as fuel.

The data from DNV Alternative Fuels Insight indicates a significant shift towards alternative fuels, driven by containerships and LNG carriers, reflecting the maritime industry's continuing focus on reducing carbon emissions and adopting greener fuel options.


Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 20 June, 2024

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