Keppel Set to Deliver South East Asia’s First LNG-Powered Tug

kst liberty
Photo: Keppel

Singaporean shipbuilder Keppel Offshore & Marine is on track to deliver South East Asia’s first dual-fuel LNG tug to Keppel Smit Towage.

The tug was named KST Liberty at a ceremony held at Keppel Singmarine on Wednesday.

The 65-tonne bollard pull LNG dual-fuel Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tug was built to Keppel’s proprietary design which won the Outstanding Maritime R&D and Technology Award at the 2015 Singapore International Maritime Awards.

According to Keppel, the tug design incorporates several smart designs to enhance safety and comfort. The LNG fuel is carried in containerized, type-C ISO-certified tanks on the main deck, and refueling can be done by truck to ship operations or replacing the empty tanks with replenished ones. It is equipped with an innovative and patented LNG vaporizer, which is compact and cost-effective, says Keppel.

kst liberty
KST Liberty during its naming ceremony, April 25, 2018. Photo: Keppel

“This is a state-of-the-art tug, with environmentally-friendly features that exceed the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) global cap of 0.5% on the sulphur content of marine fuel that comes into force on 1st January, 2020,” says Romi Kaushal, Managing Director of Keppel Smit Towage. “It will have substantially reduced CO2 emissions relative to traditional tugs and be a much welcomed green initiative. KST Liberty will also increase our capabilities as the fitted LNG tanks will allow for extended harbour operations without the need for re-fuelling, enhancing operational efficiency. It is also more compact, compared to tugs of the same bollard pull, providing enhanced maneuverability. We have built a strong partnership with Keppel over the years who have demonstrated their ability to design and deliver quality vessels that meet our needs.”

Shell will be supplying the LNG fuel to KST Liberty while FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel O&M and Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd., will be providing the LNG bunkering services. The LNG bunkering will be conducted at Jurong Port which is able to support LNG bunkering operations.