Singapore’s First LNG Bunkering Vessel Launched
Singapore’s first LNG bunkering vessel was launched at the Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China. The vessel is being built for FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Shell Eastern.
The vessel joins the growing number of LNG bunkering vessels worldwide. In early 2019, there were only six bunkering vessels operational around the world. One year later, the number had doubled to 12 with nearly 30 additional LNG bunkering vessels under construction or on order to meet the growing worldwide demand for LNG as a maritime fuel.
Construction of Singapore’s 7,500m3 LNG bunkering vessel is progressing on schedule, with the vessel expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.
According to FueLNG, this will be the first LNG bunkering vessel to provide regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services within the Singapore port. Currently, FueLNG provides truck-to-ship bunkering operations, having completed over 200 refuelings for LNG-powered vessels.
“There are a growing number of LNG-fueled vessels in the world, and FueLNG is well-positioned to seize LNG bunkering opportunities in Singapore,” said Saunak Rai, General Manager of FueLNG. “Building Singapore’s first LNG bunkering vessel demonstrates FueLNG’s confidence in LNG as a marine fuel. The vessel will enhance our range of services and boost our efforts to further increase the availability of LNG in the market.”
The vessel, which can run on both LNG and marine diesel oil, is currently being built to the proprietary MTD 7500U LNG design developed by Keppel O&M’s technology arm, Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology for cleaner and safer bunkering activities.
Key features of the vessel include high maneuverability, which will enable bunkering without tug assistance, compatibility with a wide range of vessels, as well as propulsion and power management systems that optimize fuel consumption. The vessel will have a filling rate range of up to 1000m3 of LNG per hour and will be able to supply LNG to various types of vessels at heights ranging from 3m to 23m above water level.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is undertaking a number of initiatives to increase the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel, facilitating the growth of Singapore as a global LNG bunkering hub. FueLNG says that its bunkering vessel will further enhance the LNG bunkering infrastructure in Singapore and support the growth of the industry.
The hope is that the expansion of Singapore’s LNG bunkering infrastructure will also create more opportunities in adjacent sectors in the region, including ship design, construction, operation and repair, as well as in LNG trading.