LNG bunkering project concludes

06 Mar 2013
DNV says that LNG bunkering is Australian ports is feasible as long as there is a clearer regulatory framework Photo: TSE

DNV says that LNG bunkering is Australian ports is feasible as long as there is a clearer regulatory framework Photo: TSE

The Joint Industry Project (JIP) on LNG, managed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) with nine Australian partners, has concluded that LNG bunkering in Australian ports is feasible, but not without a clearer regulatory framework.

The study, begun last October, sought to facilitate the adoption of LNG vessels in Australian waters by ascertaining infrastructure and regulatory requirements as well as identifying benefits and risks faced by ports and operators adopting LNG bunkering technology.

It concludes that more technical guidelines and a clearer regulatory framework needs to be established, along with financial incentives to kick-start the development.

DNV says that when establishing LNG bunkering, the critical business phase is the first 2-4 years of operation when the LNG suppliers rely on a few brave ship owners willing to be industry forerunners. After some years of successful operation a second wave of ships is expected to enter the market, which will "reduce suppliers’ uncertainty and reinforce the business case."

The JIP focused specifically on the initial phase, and created roadmaps for necessary action for most rapid establishment of LNG bunkering in shortlisted ports in order to open up LNG bunkering in Australia by 2016.

Tim Holt, maritime country manager, DNV, added: “Increasing LNG production along with new international regulations boost the interest in LNG fuelled shipping; this may actually to some extent switch ships from fuelling with imported fuel to using domestically produced LNG.”

The summary report is available from the DNV website.

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