Singapore is expecting its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel to become operational by this year-end, and for the first time providing ship-to-ship bunkering services in the port.
‘FueLNG’, a joint venture between Shell Eastern Petroleum and Keppel Offshore & Marine, on Thursday a virtual naming ceremony was held for the vessel, FueLNG Bellina.
The 7,500 cubic meters vessel will arrive in Singapore from Keppel’s shipyard in China by the end of this year.
The joint venture partners said in a statement on Thursday that the ship’s first contracts will be to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering to one of the German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd’s container vessels and also to Shell-chartered tankers.
Singapore’s senior minister of state for the Ministry of Transport, Chee Hong Tat said, “It is our next step towards regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering activities in Singapore. As we progress towards a low-carbon future, we will intensify our efforts to develop the Port of Singapore into a global LNG bunkering hub.”
The demand from tanker operators and cruise liners for LNG as a bunker fuel is prompted due to the pressure that the shipping industry has been under, that is to reduce carbon emissions, after also introducing new rules this year to cut bunker fuels which is the sulphur content that’s found in marine fuels.
Singapore, the world’s largest marine refuelling, or bunkering hub has expanded its LNG infrastructure by adding the capability to break up big cargoes into smaller ones and expanding its storage capacity.
The first LNG dedicated bunkering facility in Singapore is expected to be operational by end of next year, it is being set up by Keppel, Shell and FueLNG Keppel.
They said “FueLNG will provide LNG bunker to receiving vessels such as harbour crafts and small vessels from that facility, which will be built by Keppel, with Shell supplying the LNG to it.”