Australian LNG operator Woodside has signed a five-year charter contract with Norwegian company Siem Offshore to provide the Asia-Pacific nation with its first LNG-powered marine support vessel in 2017.
The announcement was made at the LNG 18 conference in Perth, Western Australia, where Woodside is based,
Woodside Chief Operations Officer Mike Utsler said the move positioned the company as an early adopter of LNG as a marine fuel in the region.
“We’re thrilled to be the first company to bring one of these vessels to the southern hemisphere,” Utsler stated.
“Australia is on track to become the world’s largest producer of LNG, so it makes perfect sense to build dual-fuel capabilities for our marine fleets here,” he added.
Woodside operates two LNG export plants in Western Australia, delivering to Asian nations, and is also widening its LNG and exportation and production activities to North America and Africa.
“Our LNG tankers use their cargo to power their engines, making them cleaner vessels that use less diesel. It’s natural that we progress this capability through to our support vessels,” he explained.
Woodside said its new vessel chartered from the Kristiansand-based Norwegian company would provide reliable support to the company’s assets in the Exmouth and Pilbara regions of offshore Western and Northwest Australia.
Woodside said it would seek to expand the application of LNG-fueling in transportation in Western Australia.
“Dual-fuel has an exciting future as it can be used to power a wide range of vessels,” the Australian company said.
The current fleet of Norway’s Siem Offshore fleet consists of 54 vessels with focus on low fuel consumption and eight of these are under construction.
The Siem fleet also includes large anchor-handling tug supply vessels, platform supply vessels and offshore subsea project ships designed to meet challenging environments.