EPIK Co. Ltd, an LNG project development company responsible for the NSW Government-declared ‘Critical’ Newcastle GasDock LNG import terminal, has announced that it plans to include LNG bunkering services as part of its development supporting the maritime industry in its shift towards cleaner burning marine fuel.
“The addition of LNG bunkering is a logical extension of the Newcastle GasDock project and will allow our customers to take advantage of LNG’s demonstrated environmental benefits, helping to reduce carbon emissions globally and dramatically reducing marine emissions locally,” said EPIK Managing Director, Jee Yoon. “Given the Port of Newcastle’s considerable industrial marine traffic and proximity to Sydney, our project provides an ideal platform to add LNG bunkering operations.”
EPIK’s Newcastle GasDock project provides a strong foundation for an LNG bunkering business on Australia’s East Coast, requiring limited additional infrastructure, and would be a first for the region. The Port of Newcastle, which welcomes more than 2000 ship visits each year, and other nearby ports including Sydney represent high-potential LNG bunker fuel markets, with steady and significant marine traffic.
The cruise industry in particular has distinguished itself as a major early adopter of LNG as a marine fuel and EPIK expects that the Sydney Harbour cruise sector, with over 300 annual cruise ship port calls, could require more than 250 000 tpy of LNG over the coming years. Similarly, bulk carriers, which make up a significant portion of Port of Newcastle marine traffic, could generate considerable new demand for LNG bunker fuel in the region over the coming years. Recent announcements by major international shipping companies operating in ports across Australia and around the world further demonstrate the enthusiasm for LNG.
While Australian coastal waters are not currently classified as an ECA, some analysts anticipate a future ECA designation, which will require many shippers to invest in cleaner fuelling systems in order to comply. The Newcastle GasDock project would provide the necessary infrastructure to provide shippers with competitive, clean-burning LNG.
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