Wesfarmers’ EVOL LNG has carried out the first Australian commercial LNG bunkering operation, the company said.
Under an agreement with Woodside, EVOL LNG refuelled the platform supply vessel, Siem Thiima, on 23 January at King Bay Supply Base near Dampier.
Siem Thiima is owned by Norwegian company Siem Offshore Australia Pty Ltd and is the first LNG‐fuelled platform supply vessel in Australia.
Another milestone was achieved on 19 February 2017, when the first LNG bunkering was carried out at Fremantle Port. With this move Freemantle and Dampier join the growing global LNG bunkering network which includes major ports in Europe, North America, Qatar, Singapore, Japan and Korea as well as more than 40 other ports around the world which currently, or plan to, bunker LNG.
EVOL LNG’s Business Manager, Nick Rea sees it as just the beginning.
“Our decision to enter the LNG bunkering market is part of a long‐term strategy that recognises environmental and economic sustainability of LNG as a transport fuel,” said Rea.
“With growing demand for lower emission fuels over the past decade, we’ve seen the number of LNG‐ fuelled ships in operation worldwide increase steadily from a handful to more than 75, with an additional 80 expected to be built in the next three years.”
Rea further added that growth had largely been driven by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations and the introduction of emission control areas in Europe and North America. In addition, China has introduced emission control areas around its three major ports.
“LNG is a cleaner fuel than marine diesel, emitting 25 per cent less carbon dioxide, less nitrogen oxides and almost zero sulphur oxides and particulates, which largely addresses emission concerns for the shipping industry and avoids expensive and complicated scrubbing systems .”
As explained, the company would like to expand its offering, “particularly as truck‐to‐ship LNG bunkering can be achieved relatively inexpensively with existing logistics assets.”
Furthermore, Rae pointed out that if other ports express interest, EVOL LNG would obtain licences from other major Australian and regional WA ports to conduct LNG bunkering operations, and look at investing in infrastructure to meet the market’s needs.
EVOL LNG secured its second major Australian port bunkering licence from Pilbara Ports Authority, permitting LNG bunkering at King Bay Supply Base and transport through the Port of Dampier. This followed its first licence from Fremantle Ports in July last year.
Initially LNG will be delivered from EVOL LNG’s Kwinana plant.