The Singapore Energy Market Authority is seeking to appoint two new official liquefied natural gas importers for the Asian city state as future natural gas use is set to expand along with its activities as a regional LNG Hub.
The EMA has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to begin the process of finding the two companies.
“Having more LNG term importers in the market will enhance competition and provide more options for gas buyers,” said a statement.
The current LNG term importers are the local company Pavilion Energy, a unit of the Singaporean wealth fund Temasek, and Shell Eastern Trading, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.
Both companies were appointed during a similar process in 2017.
“Natural gas is one of four switches in Singapore’s energy story towards a more reliable, affordable and cleaner energy future,” added the EMA.
“It is expected to be the dominant fuel for Singapore in the near future as we scale up our renewable energy options,” it explained.
The regulator invited interested parties to submit proposals which will be evaluated based on their ability to provide reliable, secure and competitive supply of LNG to Singapore.
The EMA noted that proposals had to be submitted by the 9th of November 2020, 3.00pm Singapore time.
The move comes as Singapore moves ahead with its plans to increase capacity handled and to start LNG bunkering services in the port as it strives to be a regional LNG Hub.
The EMA is also leading the plans to develop a second regasification and storage terminal.
The terminal would be a floating facility for break-bulk cargoes whereby shipments would be broken up into smaller parcels in delivered to southeast Asian customers such as Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Analysts said that Asian emerging economies would become more reliant on LNG, with China and India already major buyers and other southeast Asian nations becoming importers.
Singapore LNG Corp. owns and operates the current single onshore terminal at Jurong Island with peak regasification capacity of 11 million tonnes per annum.
The terminal was built in 2013 and then expanded capacity. In 2018, the country introduced a spot LNG import policy that allowed buyers to respond to changing market demand.
As far as being a centre of LNG trading, the government has confirmed that this has already been achieved with almost 50 LNG trading and shipping firms having offices in Singapore.
Additionally, the first Singapore LNG bunkering vessel, owned by Shell Eastern Petroleum and Keppel Offshore and Marine, was launched in June 2020 at the Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China.