Ports Set Out to Harmonize LNG Bunkering

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October 7, 2016

In August the MV Ternsund became the first ship to bunker LNG in the port of Rotterdam. Photo: Ries van Wendel de Joode/HBR

A network of ports from northern Europe to Singapore and even the United States have banded together to develop the the world’s first set of harmonized LNG bunkering standards as use of LNG as a marine fuel becomes more and more prevalent.

The network includes the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, and Singapore, and will expand to Jacksonville, Florida and Norway, the ports said in a joint statement on Friday.

The goal of the network is to develop a set of harmonized standards to ensure that key areas of the LNG bunkering process are aligned across ports carrying out LNG bunkering operations across the East and West and Trans-pacific trade. The standards can also provide a guide to ports seeking to be LNG bunker-ready.

The use of LNG as a marine fuel is becoming more and more widespread under pressure to reduce the environmental impacts from ships and shipping. Over the last few years LNG-powered ships have popped up in nearly every sector of the maritime industry from cargo ships to workboats. A key area in the move to LNG fuel however is still the availability of LNG bunkering options and the associated infrastructure.

Andrew Tan Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, representing the world’s largest bunkering hub, commented: “MPA is pleased to co-operate and work with ports in Europe and the USA, and moving ahead, Asian ports, to encourage the use of cleaner marine fuels such as LNG. This development of harmonised bunkering standards is one of the key components in enabling LNG bunkering operations to be conducted safely. We will continue to work with and through this focus group to facilitate LNG as an alternative marine fuel for the future.”

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has also led the expansion of the representation in the network to include the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan and the Ulsan Port Authority.

The network was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at the opening ceremony of the 19th Singapore’s International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition on Thursday.

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