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SMW: LNG Forum members upbeat on LNG bunkering trend

24 Apr 2018

Various members of the Singapore-held LNG Forum 2018 on Tuesday voiced their optimism about the uptake and use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.

“We are very optimistic about LNG growth not only in Singapore but also in Indonesia,” John Ng, CEO of Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG) told delegates at the event organised as part of Singapore Maritime Week 2018.

Ng forecasts a four-fold rise in demand for LNG at Indonesia which will result in the country’s small-scale LNG supply industry taking off. The development will mean the construction of suitable local facilities which can also be upgraded to offer bunkering services after a “small investment”.

“The surrounding eco system is there and investment will be low to start LNG bunkering,” he notes while adding SLNG has already constructed traffic facilities at its Singapore terminal to distribute LNG in ISO containers.

“Small-scale LNG require vessels to be a lot smaller and we have also modified the berth to handle very small ships,” he explains.

“We are already putting investment ahead of demand. The question now is the aggregate demand to make the operation economically viable.”

Lauran Wetemans, Head of Downstream LNG, Director of FuelLNG, Shell International BV, meanwhile echos aggregate demand to be a challenge for small-scale LNG.

“Together with shipping LNG as fuel we will also see infrastructure being built and these will add opportunities to provide small scale power,” he notes.

“The use of different barges of different sizes is going to give operational efficiency [and] we will be able to see a lot of demand coming from this activity.”

Angus Campbell, Corporate Director Energy Projects, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, says the push for LNG as a marine fuel is not only an initiative from the shipping sector to meet stricter emissions but from clients as well.

“The way the shipping industry works is you work under charterers and other parties,” he explains.

“Because there is corporate sustainability, the customer wants to reduce their own carbon footprint as well and we have clients who make this as a priority. You will be surprised about the amount of focus on this.”

Cess Boon, Senior Adviser Harbourmaster Policy Department, Port of Rotterdam, points out the uptake of LNG as bunker fuel in Rotterdam port is partly due to European Union (EU) initiatives.

“The drive of LNG we can see […] partly is driven by the EU to encourage members to make alternative fuels available for the industry.”

The LNG Forum 2018 session is a Sea Asia conference organised by Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation as part of the LNG Shipping and Clean Energy Forum.

Related: Singapore Maritime Week 2018: Positioning for Future Growth
Related: The republic welcomes Singapore Maritime Week

Published: 25 April, 2018

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