Shipping line Sinanju Tankers has placed an order for Singapore’s first LNG-fuelled bunker tanker.
The order was placed through Sinanju’s partner for the project, Japanese conglomerate Mitsui Group, and the tanker will be built by Singaporean shipyard Keppel Offshore & Marine.
"Sinanju aims to kickstart a green initiative for bunker tankers operating in Singapore, for our vessels to emit less air pollutants while boosting the local use of LNG as a bunker fuel," Ju Kai Meng, managing director of Sinanju Tankers Holdings, said.
Delivery by 2020
The new tanker is due to be delivered at the end of 2019 and its introduction at the world's largest bunkering port is expected to pave the way for new advanced LNG bunkering operations on the island.
"Operating a dual-fuel powered bunker tanker will also add impetus for our staff and crew to familiarize themselves with the Technical Reference for LNG Bunkering (TR56:2017) and be skilled with the safe and efficient handling of LNG when re-fueling this vessel. We will be in good stead when embarking on ship-to-ship LNG bunkering as our next milestone," Ju Kai Meng added.
The 7,900 deadweight-tonne vessel will be fitted with a 55 cubic-meter LNG tank ondeck, connected to a fuel gas supply system designed to deliver gas directly to the engine and while it will be dual-fuel capable the firm expects to operate it predominantly from LNG.
MPA investment to drive growth
Earlier this year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced plans to invest S$12 million to boost LNG bunkering at the Port of Singapore.
“As the world’s largest bunkering hub, MPA will support future demand by promoting the development of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore. This will provide the industry greater confidence in the availability of LNG supply across key shipping routes,” Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said.
The MPA also places to introduce several new measures under its Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI) to drive uptake of LNG as a fuel. This strategy is backed by the government which has long pushed to develop the island as a regional LNG hub via investment from its sovereign wealth fund Temasek to develop infrastructure and attract foreign LNG specialists to the island.