Front row, from left: Joachim Coens, CEO of Port of Zeebrugge, Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Lam Yi Young, CEO of MPA. Standing, from left: Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works, Lui Tuck Yew, Singapore’s Minister for Transport. Photo Courtesy MPA
The heads of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Antwerp Port Authority and the Port of Zeebrugge met in Singapore this week to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the enhanced cooperation among the three ports when it comes to LNG bunkering, which has been one of the key topics of discussion when it comes to the future and widespread use of LNG as a marine fuel.
Specifically, the MoU, which will be in force for three years, seeks to; harmonize the procedures related to liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering in order to facilitate the acceptance of LNG bunker for shipping; exchange information on matters related to LNG as a shipping fuel, such as LNG infrastructure, communication to stakeholders, accreditation of bunkering operators; exchange information pertaining to bunkering procedures and regulatory framework; and identify common areas of interests to set up joint research and development programs.
Commenting on the MoU, Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive of MPA, commented: “Over the last two years, MPA has collaborated with industry partners to study the feasibility of introducing LNG bunkering in Singapore and to develop the procedures and technical specifications for LNG bunkering operations. Given the global nature of shipping, we are very happy to be able to work with the Antwerp Port Authority and the Port of Zeebrugge to harmonize our procedures for LNG bunkering. Such co-operation will help facilitate the development of global standards for LNG bunkering, which is needed to enable the use of LNG as ship fuel.”
Eddy Bruyninckx, who is CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority and was on hand for the signing, said: “The Port of Antwerp wishes to encourage as well as facilitate the use of LNG as a shipping fuel. That is why we have been working on developing bunkering procedures for quite some time and recently also took the first steps towards the development of an LNG bunkering ship. A partnership with an international maritime player like Singapore will allow us to take our knowledge and know-how in this field to a higher level.”
Meanwhile Joachim Coens, Chief Executive Officer of Port of Zeebrugge, commented:
“Zeebrugge’s expertise in the area of gas is founded on 25 years’ experience. Fluxys’s natural gas terminal in the outer port of Zeebrugge is one of the major European natural gas hubs, distributing 15% of all gas to the continent. Naturally, Zeebrugge also wishes to play a pioneering role in the use of LNG as a shipping fuel. Together with Fluxys and various private partners the port authority has been working for several years on a number of pilot projects for the introduction of LNG as a shipping fuel. Moreover, the port is also developing facilities for loading LNG trucks as well as preparing the construction of a bunkering barge. The expansion of the natural gas terminal with a new jetty for loading and unloading will make our natural gas hub even more competitive as of 2015.”
In 2012, the Port of Singapore recorded bunker sales volume of 42.7 million tons, retaining its position as the world’s top bunkering port.
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