SINGAPORE - Singapore plans to be liquefied natural gas (LNG)-bunker ready in the next three years, said Dr Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of state for Ministry of Trade and Industry and National Development.
This would fit in with the decision by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) last October to raise the limit on global sulphur emissions to 0.5 per cent from 2020.
Speaking at the Pavilion Energy LNG bunkering launch ceremony on Tuesday (May 2), the first LNG hunkering demonstration in Singapore and South-east Asia, Dr Koh said: "As the world's largest bunkering port, Singapore remains committed to ensuring that the maritime industry has access to cleaner marine fuels. We plan to be LNG bunker-ready as early as 2020."
He pointed to ongoing efforts to push the use of the super-chilled gas here, including the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore's (MPA) programme to co-fund up to S$2 million for LNG-fuelled harbour craft, under which five such vessels will be coming on stream from 2018.
The MPA will also embark on a three-year LNG bunkering pilot programme this year, which will "allow us to test operational protocols, gain operational experience and beef up Singapore's capabilities to ensure that LNG bunkering is carried out safely, efficiently, and reliably," said Dr Koh.
The demonstration at Jurong Port was carried out by Pavilion Gas, one of the two licensed LNG bunker suppliers in Singapore, in line with TR56, Singapore's first standard for LNG hunkering launched last Friday.
The other LNG bunkering licence-holder is FueLNG.
Mr Seah Moon Ming, chief executive of Pavilion Energy, the Temasek-backed parent company of Pavilion Gas, noted that LNG bunkering is a key market for LNG market growth, while the IMO's landmark ruling will mean more demand for LNG in fuelling ships.
"Moving ahead, the establishment of robust LNG bunkering ecosystem will add to Singapore's offerings as an Asian LNG hub," said Mr Seah.
"Not only can Singapore serve as a physical and financial hub for LNG trading, but also for small-scale LNG and LNG bunkering activities," he said. "Vessels will be able to call at the Port of Singapore not only for trade purposes but also for LNG bunkering refuelling."