FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M) and Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd, has placed an order with Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Keppel O&M, to build the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering vessel in South East Asia.
The construction of the 7,500m3 LNG bunkering vessel is projected to be completed in 3Q 2020 and will enable FueLNG to be the first in Singapore to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services. FueLNG will receive a grant of up to $3 million as part of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) LNG Bunkering Pilot Programme (LBPP).
Mr Chris Ong, Chairman, FueLNG and CEO, Keppel O&M, said, “This vessel, which will be the first of its kind in South East Asia, will enable FueLNG to be the first in Singapore to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services within the Singapore port. This demonstrates our commitment to global customers as the industry increasingly adopts cleaner fuel alternatives. Tapping on Keppel’s shipbuilding expertise enables us to have a highly capable vessel that meets our requirements for safety and efficiency. Supported by Shell’s experience, we aim to be a key driver in promoting LNG as marine fuel.”
Mr Lauran Wetemans, Director, FueLNG and General Manager, Shell Downstream LNG, added, “I am pleased LNG will be available mid 2020 in Singapore. The decision to develop the LNG Bunker vessel demonstrates the confidence FueLNG has in LNG as a marine fuel. Singapore is a key maritime hub and both partners will contribute specific expertise in the venture with Shell using its global experience to make LNG a reality. We continue to work closely with the MPA, the port operators and industry stakeholders to ensure LNG bunkering will be available.”
Mr Andrew Tan, CEO of MPA, said, “We are pleased that FueLNG, Keppel and Shell are taking the lead in growing the LNG bunkering infrastructure in Singapore. As the world’s largest bunkering port, it is important that we support the development of LNG bunkering in our port to cater to future demand for LNG as a marine fuel.”
The vessel will be built to the proprietary design, MTD 7500U LNG, developed by Keppel O&M’s ship design and development arm, Marine Technology Development (MTD), for cleaner and safer bunkering activities within the port of Singapore. Capable of running on both LNG and marine diesel oil, the vessel’s key features include high manoeuvrability which enables bunkering without tug assistance, as well as propulsion and power management systems that optimise fuel consumption.
As emissions standards tighten, globally, the industry is seeing increasing demand for LNG-fuelled ships, with 123 LNG-fuelled ships in operation and 150 on order as of early 2018i. To meet this increasing demand, oil majors like Shell are expanding their LNG bunkering capabilities to increase the availability of LNG across the world. Having this capability in Singapore will complement the already established LNG bunkering infrastructure in key ports across the world.
Notes to editors:
• Across the industry a range of bunker vessel sizes will become available in the future to serve different customer needs.
• Equipped with dual-fuel generator engines, the LNG bunkering vessel is more efficient than conventional bunker vessels. It is able to harness boil-off gas, a by-product of bunkering operations as well as the continuously evaporating LNG in the cryogenic tank, which would otherwise be flared off. It is also designed with a barge-like extended flat surface to provide bunker to a wide range of vessels.
• A twin screw azimuthing propulsion system allows crabbing manoeuvre during bunkering operations, minimising tug utilisation and in turn reduces fuel consumption and emissions.
• According to a survey by LNG World Shipping(ii), there are five LNG bunkering vessels in service and 10 on order as of February 2018. These vessels, such as the Shell commissioned M.V Cardissa will serve customers throughout Europe and are important in scaling up demand for LNG as a marine fuel and creating a new norm for delivering fuel for ship owners and operators.
(i) According to Clarkson’s data