3 more ports join LNG bunker focus group

MPA Chief Executive Andrew Tan.
MPA Chief Executive Andrew Tan.

An international focus group on liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering, which Singapore played a key role in setting up, has expanded to include three more ports amid growing interest to supply LNG as a marine fuel.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said yesterdaythat the ports of Ningbo- Zhoushan, Marseille and Vancouver have joined the group, which includes Singapore.

Ningbo-Zhoushan is the first Chinese port to join the group.

The network now comprises a total of 11 ports and maritime administrations across Asia, Europe and North America.

The expansion is aimed at strengthening the network of LNG bunker-ready ports and to bolster efforts towards enabling the uptake of LNG as marine fuel, said the MPA.

MPA chief executive Andrew Tan noted that the inclusion of Ningbo-Zhoushan, for instance, will "add further impetus to enable the uptake of LNG bunkering for the Far East-Europe and intra-Asia trade routes for the future".

The focus group was first formed in 2014 by the MPA, Antwerp Port Authority, Port of Rotterdam and Port of Zeebrugge.

INCENTIVE TO USE LNG

We are confident that the inclusion of the port of Ningbo-Zhoushan will add further impetus to enable the uptake of LNG bunkering for the Far East-Europe and intra-Asia trade routes for the future.''

MPA CHIEF EXECUTIVE ANDREW TAN

Last year, Asian representation increased with the inclusion of Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and South Korea's Ulsan Port Authority.

In October last year, all members of the focus group signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen cooperation and information sharing in relation to LNG bunkering, as well as to develop a network of LNG bunker-ready ports across the East and West, and trans-Pacific trade.

The first meeting was held in April this year in Yokohama, Japan, where the focus group agreed to concentrate collaborative efforts on enabling the uptake of LNG as bunkers globally.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2017, with the headline '3 more ports join LNG bunker focus group'. Print Edition | Subscribe