Ports Launch Future Fuels Network to Support Sustainable Shipping

ports form fuel network to support marine sustainability
Photo courtesy the Port of Rotterdam

Published Oct 8, 2020 4:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

Three of the world’s leading ports are coming together to launch a new initiative designed to support the decarbonization of the shipping industry. The collaboration between Singapore, Japan, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will be known as the Future Fuel Network. Other ports from around the world are also invited to join the network.

Seeking to develop a road map for the adoption of clean maritime fuels, the organizations from the three countries virtually signed a memorandum of cooperation during the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON). 

“This is also the moment to re-think our future and ensure we undertake proper measures that both address global warming and the global economic downturn,” commented Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “We can make a tangible difference with a clear roadmap and developing new infrastructure to enable the supply and use of low-carbon and clean marine fuels.”

The founders of the new network are highlighting this effort as an example of how ports around the world can make a significant contribution to advancing decarbonization of the global maritime sector. They plan to coordinate on a range of research and development efforts. They also plan to collaborate on possible joint bunkering pilot projects that will be run in coordination with shipping lines.

“Japan is pushing GHG reduction forward under the strong leadership of the government in response to the IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships,” said Japan’s Takada Masayuki, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. “Alternative fuels without emitting GHG will be used as marine fuels to achieve the reduction.”

Independently, each of the three ports has been working on programs to support the efforts to achieve decarbonization. Recently, the world’s largest LNG bunkering vessel was christened Rotterdam. The Gas Agility will operate from the port serving to supply LNG fuel to CMA CGM’s new generation of LNG-powered ultra-large container ships. The Port of Rotterdam is also participating in a range of projects, including efforts to develop a battery-powered network for inland shipping from the port.

Last month, Japan’s first LNG bunkering vessel was also launched at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries shipyard. Due to begin service before the end of the year, the bunkering vessel is part of several programs underway in Japan to build alternative fuel capabilities.

In Singapore, FueLNG is also pushing forward with several projects as the first marine LNG supplier in the port. Having already conducted truck-to-ship fuelings, they also recently launched their first LNG bunkering vessel. They are also developing a LNG platform to serve smaller ships and harbor crafts. Singapore's MPA also announced that it would be looking to further expand LNG opportunities in the port by introducing additional suppliers.