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LNG Bunkering

Japanese trio explores LNG bunkering at Tokyo Bay

Uyeno Transtech, Sumitomo Corporation, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation in joint study.

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Japanese firms Uyeno Transtech, Sumitomo Corporation, and Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation (YKIP) on Thursday (29 March) entered into a joint study on ship-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering at Tokyo Bay.

Uyeno Transtech aims to promote the use of LNG as a next-generation alternative fuel for maritime transport; Sumitomo Corporation is looking at building an industrial platform for procuring and supplying LNG to complement its conventional shipping fuel supply operations; YKIP intends to set up a LNG bunkering hub in Tokyo Bay, centred on Yokohama Port.

The development will be open to possible participation via business ventures by LNG-related companies.

“Expectations are high worldwide that it will serve as a more eco-friendly alternative fuel able to comply with tighter global cap on sulphur emissions from international shipping due to go into effect in 2020,” says Sumitomo Corporation.

“It is even forecast that about one-fourth of the world’s ship fuel use will be switched over to LNG by 2030, producing a global rise in the demand for LNG fuel.

“At the same time, inadequate LNG bunkering infrastructure is among the reasons that Japan and the rest of Asia lag far behind such leading regions as Europe and the US in widely adopting LNG as marine fuel.”

Published: 2 April, 2018
 

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LNG Bunkering

Erik Thun takes delivery of LNG dual-fuel tanker “Thun Vettern”

Vessel, which is the latest contribution to the Vinga-series, has dual-fuel capability, runs on LNG/LBG or gasoil and is fully equipped for shore power connection when available in ports.

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Erik Thun takes delivery of LNG dual-fuel tanker “Thun Vettern”

Shipping firm Erik Thun on Monday (24 June) said it has taken delivery of Thun Vettern, a 17,999-dwt vessel, which was built by China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Yangzhou.

The vessel is an upgraded version of the sister Thun Venern. Thun Vettern is the latest contribution to the “Vinga-series”, all trading within the Gothia Tanker Alliance. The Thun Vettern is the newest and latest edition to the Vinga-series and she has ice class 1A. 

The vessels in the Vinga-series all have dual-fuel capability, run on LNG/LBG or gasoil and are fully equipped for shore power connection when available in ports.

They are designed with a battery hybrid solution and several innovative features that reduce fuel and energy consumption, resulting in extensively lowered emissions of CO2, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and hazardous particles. 

The firm said the ships have scored the best Energy Efficiency Design Index or EEDI value in their segment globally, meaning that they are the most energy efficient vessels according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

The Vinga-series is designed for the intense and demanding trade in the North Sea and Scandinavia, well suited to meet the growing European demand for biofuels and renewable feedstocks.

Erik Thun´s close partner Furetank will technically and commercially manage the new vessel which upon delivery will enter into the Gothia Tanker Alliance network.

“Sustainability work has always been and will be a focus ahead for Erik Thun. To take delivery of a resource efficient, top performing product tanker like Thun Vettern, and further deepen our good and long-term co-operation with Furetank is a great example of our vision to be a sustainable Swedish partner over generations,” said Johan Källsson, Managing Director at Erik Thun AB.

 

Photo credit: Erik Thun
Published: 25 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Wärtsilä on LNG bunker fuel: Expert answers to 17 important questions

Firm gives an expert overview on top questions on LNG bunker fuel including if LNG is a future fuel and what does LNG being a transition fuel means.

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RESIZED Chris Pagan

Technology group Wärtsilä on Wednesday (19 June) gave an expert overview on top 17 questions related to LNG bunker fuel in this insight article including if LNG is a future fuel: 

Your choice of fuel affects both your profitability and your vessel’s environmental compliance. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a safe and cost-effective fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants. LNG is playing a key role as a transition fuel and is widely seen as the first step towards decarbonising the maritime industry.

Switching to LNG as fuel for ship propulsion requires investment but can save you fuel costs, increase your profitability and reduce compliance risks. The expert answers to these 17 questions will tell you what you need to know about LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping.

What is LNG?

LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to -162°C (-260°F), turning it into a clear, odourless liquid that is easy to ship and store. LNG is typically 85–95% methane, which contains less carbon than other forms of fossil fuels. It is a compact, efficient form of energy that is ideal for ship propulsion.

What is LNG used for?

LNG is primarily used as a clean-burning energy source. It is used for electricity generation, heating, cooking, and as a transportation fuel. LNG is also used as a raw material for products like fertilisers and plastics.

In the shipping industry, LNG as fuel is used for ship propulsion, auxiliary power generation and other onboard energy needs. LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping has gained wide popularity due to its clean-burning properties and potential to help meet stricter emissions regulations.

What are the sources of LNG as fuel for ships? What is bioLNG?

LNG as fuel for ships is produced from natural gas extracted from underground reserves, including both onshore and offshore gas fields.

BioLNG is LNG produced from biogas, which is generated from organic waste like food scraps, agricultural waste, manure and sewage sludge. BioLNG is considered a renewable fuel and can further reduce the carbon footprint of ships using LNG fuel systems.

 Is LNG just methane?

LNG is primarily methane (typically 85–95%), but it also contains small amounts of ethane, propane and other hydrocarbons. LNG can also contain trace amounts of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The exact composition of LNG may vary depending on the source of the natural gas and the liquefaction process used.

 LNG fuel vs. fuel oil: is LNG better than diesel?

Compared to diesel fuel oil, LNG offers several advantages. LNG produces significantly lower emissions when burned, including:

  • 20–30% less CO2 
  • 15-25% less total GHG
  • 90% less NOx 
  • 99% less SOx 
  • Almost no particulate matter (PM) 

LNG engines are also quieter. 

However, LNG has a lower energy density than diesel, so using LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping will require more fuel and therefore larger fuel tanks to achieve the same range.

 What are the advantages and disadvantages of LNG fuel?

The key advantages of LNG as fuel include reduced emissions and cost competitiveness. There is also an established and continuously growing global network of LNG bunkering facilities.

The disadvantages of using LNG as fuel for ships include the need for specialised equipment and training and the potential for methane slip.

Methane slip is when unburned methane, a potent greenhouse gas, escapes into the atmosphere. Modern dual-fuel engines will minimise this issue. Depending on engine type and load, you can reduce methane slip by up to 65% by upgrading your ship’s existing engines. Over the last 30 years, Wärtsilä has reduced the methane slip from its engines by around 90%.

 Is LNG environmentally friendly?

LNG is cleaner burning than traditional marine fuels, but it is still a fossil fuel. BioLNG, which is LNG produced from organic waste or biomass, can be considered a more sustainable alternative to fossil-based LNG as it has a lower carbon footprint. However, the production and combustion of bioLNG still emit some greenhouse gases. LNG can be seen as a bridging fuel in the transition to alternative fuels like methanol and ammonia, which aren’t yet widely available at scale.

 Is LNG a future fuel?

LNG both is and isn’t a future fuel. It enables lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduces other harmful air pollutants compared to fuel oil, but it is still a fossil fuel. Sustainable future fuels are crucial for maritime decarbonisation, but the current cost, limited availability and insufficient infrastructure are challenging for operators. This gives LNG an important role to play in the shipping industry’s transition to a zero-carbon future.

As more ports develop LNG bunkering infrastructure and more ships are built with LNG fuel systems, the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping is expected to increase. LNG is considered a stepping stone on the path to decarbonisation as the industry moves closer to using true future fuels such as methanol and ammonia.

Note: The full article by Wärtsilä can be found here.

 

Photo credit: Chris Pagan on Unsplash
Published: 24 June, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

ENGINE on Fuel Switch Snapshot: Bunkering gets pricier in Singapore

All prices rise sharply in Singapore; LNG inches closer to VLSFO; Rotterdam’s B24-VLSFO premium over LNG widens.

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ENGINE on Fuel Switch Snapshot: Bunkering gets pricier in Singapore

Once a week, bunker intelligence platform ENGINE will publish a snapshot of alternative and conventional bunker fuel prices in the world’s two biggest bunkering hubs. The following is the latest snapshot:

24 June 2024

Singapore's bunker fuel prices have increased across the board over the past week. Conventional fuel prices have climbed $17-20/mt higher, while bio-bunker blends have gained slightly less, at $12-17/mt. LNG has increased by $14/mt in the port.

The price gap between Rotterdam's LNG and VLSFO grades has narrowed in the past week. LNG is now only $2/mt cheaper than VLSFO in Rotterdam with estimated EU Allowance (EUA) costs for voyages between two EU ports added, down from $15/mt a week earlier. The price difference is wider without EUAs, at $8/mt, and has come down from $21/mt.

The B24-VLSFO premium over pure VLSFO has moved $2/mt lower in Rotterdam and $8/mt lower in Singapore.

VLSFO

Rotterdam’s VLSFO benchmark has increased by $7/mt in the past week. Steady availability of the grade in Rotterdam and the wider ARA region could explain its gains falling short of a $19/mt ($2.62/bbl) jump in front-month Brent futures.

Singapore's VLSFO benchmark has climbed $20/mt in the past week, mirroring Brent's rise.

A sharp tightening of VLSFO availability in the port has supported price gains. Most suppliers indicate lead times of 7-17 days for the grade, a significant increase from 2-11 days the week prior.

Biofuels

Rotterdam’s B24-VLSFO HBE price has been steadier in the past week, with only a $5/mt gain. Availability of bio-blended bunkers remains good in Rotterdam and the ARA hub, a source says. 

Singapore’s B24-VLSFO price has gained $12/mt in the past week. The bio-bunker price has gone up despite a $5/mt drop in the UCOME FOB China benchmark, according to PRIMA Markets.

“Lower offers last week of $960-980/t were still mostly met by limited demand, with other optimistic sellers still offering above $1,000/t in other areas of the country,” PRIMA said.

LNG

A $7/mt decline in Rotterdam’s LNG bunker price can be attributed to a drop in the front-month NYMEX Dutch TTF Natural Gas benchmark amid the abundant gas storage levels in European countries.

In contrast, Singapore’s LNG bunker price has jumped higher by $14/mt in the past week.

The price rise in Singapore is supported by higher prices in the Asian LNG market and the Japan/Korea Marker (JKM) price, as well as an extended outage at Chevron's Wheatstone LNG facility in Australia.

By Konica Bhatt

 

Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 25 June 2024

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