Singapore Building Expanded LNG Bunkering Capabilities

Singapore expands its LNG bunking capabilities
Singapore's first LNG bunker vessel, seen during her launch in May 2020, will enter service by year's end - photo courtesy of FueLNG

Published Oct 5, 2020 7:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

Singapore, one of the major hub ports of shipping operations in Asia, is preparing to launch expanded LNG fueling capabilities. In doing so, Singapore becomes one of the ports that is ready to service the growing list of vessels operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as their primary fuel.

FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Shell Eastern Petroleum, recently took significant steps in expanding LNG-fueling capabilities. They are expected to become by the end of 2020 the first to offer ship-to-ship LNG fueling capabilities in the port of Singapore. By the end of 2021, they are also scheduled to open Singapore’s first dedicated LNG bunkering facility.

The introduction of these capabilities expands Singapore’s LNG facilities to meet the need of the shipping industry. The port's first LNG capabilities were introduced in 2017 with truck-to-ship bunkering operations. To date, FueLNG has completed more than 250 truck-based fueling operations at the port of Singapore.

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chee Hong Tat speaking at the dedication of the LNG bunkering vessel said, “This occasion marks an important milestone in Singapore’s journey to achieve the IMO 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target. It is our next step towards regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering activities in Singapore. As we progress towards a low-carbon future, we will intensify our efforts to develop the Port of Singapore into a global LNG bunkering hub.”

Designed and built by Keppel O&M, the 7,500m3 LNG bunkering vessel, which was named FueLNG Bellina, is scheduled to arrive in Singapore later this year from the Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China. When operational, the vessel’s first contracts will be to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering to the Shell-chartered tankers and for one of Hapag Lloyd’s container vessels. Outfitted with two stern azimuth thrusters and one bow thruster, the bunkering vessel was designed with a high degree of maneuverability. It is also being promoted as the first “smart” bunkering vessel as the process will be executed and monitored on a digital platform.

“Building Singapore’s first LNG bunkering vessel and having a dedicated bunkering facility demonstrates our commitment to global customers that LNG as a marine fuel will be readily available in Singapore. Leveraging the capabilities of Keppel O&M and Shell, FueLNG is able to offer customers a variety of cost-effective and convenient LNG bunkering options,” said Chris Ong, Chairman of FueLNG and CEO of Keppel O&M. “This includes ship-to-ship bunkering for larger vessels such as containerships or being able to bunker smaller vessels such as harbor crafts on-demand, 24/7, at our dedicated bunkering facility at the FLL in Keppel O&M’s shipyard.”

Keppel, Shell, and FueLNG will further expand the LNG bunkering infrastructure in Singapore with the country’s first dedicated LNG bunkering facility. With a capacity of 3,500m3, the facility will be available for smaller vessels, such as harbor crafts, as well as outfitted to refuel the LNG bunkering vessel. The facility, which will be built by Keppel O&M on its Floating Living Lab, with Shell supplying the LNG, is expected to be operational at the end of 2021.