Singapore Expands LNG Bunkering Initiatives

Conference opening
Opening ceremony for the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition

By MarEx 2016-10-05 20:10:20

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) expanded its LNG bunkering initiatives at the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition this week.

The MPA and Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the conference to collaborate on an interim truck loading facility, which will be used to service LNG bunkering. The facility will also be used to serve a variety of other industries that may require small volumes of LNG to be transported over land. The MPA has committed up to approximately S$2 million ($1.46 million) to co-fund the development of this facility, which will be operationally ready by early 2017.

The MPA is working with SPRING Singapore to develop the Technical Reference for Singapore’s LNG bunkering standards. The reference will be launched in early 2017, providing a reliable and transparent framework for LNG bunkering operations.

Of the S$12 million ($8.8 million) allocated for the co-funding program for LNG-fuelled vessels, a total of S$8 million has been awarded to Harley Marine Asia, Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime. The vessels that will be built include tugboats and bunker tankers. 

To encourage the uptake of LNG bunker by local harbor craft, MPA will waive five years of port dues for new LNG-fuelled harbor craft that register with MPA between October 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019. To complement this effort, MPA will also grant an additional 10 percent port dues concession for the Green Port Program qualifying vessels that engage LNG-fuelled harbor craft for their port operations. 

Harbor Tugs Ordered

Also this week, Royal Boskalis Westminster  joint ventures Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime ordered two LNG dual-fuel harbor tugs, marking a breakthrough for realizing clean environmentally friendly harbor towage services in the Singapore port. 

The tugs, which are expected to be delivered in 2018, will run entirely on LNG. For this reason, the MPA will award a grant of up to S$2 million for each tug under its LNG Bunkering Pilot Program. The 65-tonne bollard pull ASD tugs will be built by Keppel Singmarine in Singapore using the shipyard's proprietary design.

The LNG fuel will be supplied by Shell, for which two Head of Agreements have been signed, and bunkered through FueLNG, a joint venture between Shell and Keppel. The two LNG fuelled tugs will be the first clients of LNG as marine fuel in the pilot for the development of Singapore into one of the world's main LNG bunkering ports.

Forging partnerships to drive the LNG bunkering agenda globally 

An international focus group was formed in 2014 to cooperate on LNG bunkering. MPA will now be expanding the original MoU, which initially comprised the ports of Singapore, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zebrugee, to include the Port of Jacksonville, Norwegian Maritime Authority, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan, and the Ulsan Port Authority, Republic of Korea. 

As the group works towards building a network of LNG bunker ready ports across the Asia-Europe shipping route, the increased representation of Asian ports will add impetus towards making LNG bunkering a reality in the future, states the MPA. 

Mandatory adoption of mass flow meters 

The MPA also gave an update of other bunkering initiatives at the conference.

The MPA previously announced the mandatory adoption of mass flow meters for marine fuel oil deliveries from January 1, 2017. The MPA is on track for implementation with 110 bunker tankers already approved to perform fuel deliveries through mass flow meters. 

More than 23 bunker tankers have also been scheduled for installation and testing over the next two months. Moving ahead, MPA will put in an additional S$0.5 million ($365,000) to fund the test-bedding of the use of mass flow meters for distillates deliveries. Trials have commenced and an update will be provided in the first quarter of 2017.  

Additionally, the MPA has been conducting field tests on electronic bunker delivery notes which are expected to improve the productivity of the industry as processes such as invoicing and payments will become more efficient. MPA will continue to work with the industry to roll out this initiative in 2018.