IBIA: Port Infrastructure, Attractive Price to Drive LNG Demand

Supply infrastructure at major ports and attractive pricing are at the top of a list of factors that will drive demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.

Up to 41 percent of the delegates at International Bunker Industry Association’s (IBIA) Annual Convention in Singapore in November believe that infrastructure readiness is key for rising the demand for LNG as marine fuel.

Attractive pricing was at the second place with 29.5 percent of votes, followed by green advocacy for cleaner marine fuels with 13 percent, clear emission regulations and enforcement regimes with 11 percent and ready and abundant supply of LNG with 5.5 percent.

The delegates heard from Goh Tiak Boon,  Head LNG New Business, Pavilion Gas, who, outlining the current market, noted that LNG supply infrastructure is concentrated in North West Europe, and so far almost entirely dominated by truck to ship supply.

Price-wise, Boon claimed that the price of LNG versus marine gas oil when supplied ship-to-ship (STS), even taking delivery cost into account, makes LNG a viable alternative.

The Convention also heard from Alan Lim, Deputy Director (Port Services) at Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, about how Singapore is part of a global network LNG bunker-ready ports across East-West and Transpacific trade. Several ports in Asia and North West Europe are already part of this network, along with two ports in North America. Lim said Singapore intends to have STS LNG bunkering capacity in place as early as 2020.

“It seems, then, that two of the most important factors for driving the use of LNG as a marine fuel could be in place by 2020,” IBIA concluded.

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