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MPA Chief Executive calls for greater cooperation amongst ports for LNG bunkering

LNG Industry,

Delivering a speech at the third Busan International Port Conference (BIPC) in South Korea, the Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Andrew Tan, called for more ports to be prepared for bunkering LNG.

In the speech, Tan claimed that Asia holds great potential in terms of LNG bunkering, due to the fact that several crucial trade routes go through the region. Tan argued that Singapore will hope to encourage discussions and cooperation amongst international ports in order to provide LNG bunkering for both ocean-going and short-sea vessels.

Tan said: “Shipping is a global business and it is important that ports like Busan, Hamburg, Singapore and others that are key nodes in the global supply chain talk to one another, share their expertise and break new frontiers.

“While the IMO [International Maritime Organization] remains in the driver's seat to drive the overall effort to reduce shipping emissions at the international level, at the national level, port authorities also have an important role to play. This includes the effective enforcement of regulations, working with stakeholders to collectively raise standards and incentivising adoption of new technologies that are cleaner and greener.

“Balancing domestic interests and global standards will be a delicate balancing act. Each nation may have its take on what defines safe and efficient shipping in its waters, but these must be properly aligned with the IMO's standards to prevent a proliferation of rules that could undermine the industry and impose undue costs. This will require greater dialogue among all key stakeholders and the harmonisation of standards.”

Speaking on Singapore in particular, Tan said: “To prepare for the future, Singapore is taking steps to prepare itself to be a LNG bunker-ready port when LNG becomes more viable as an alternate fuel. This will enable us to service a range of vessel types and sizes seeking to take LNG as a marine fuel. Singapore will be commencing our LNG bunkering pilot programme in 2017 as the platform to test the LNG bunkering procedures in Singapore.

“However, the high costs involved in building or retrofitting LNG-fuelled vessels, and the need for further development of LNG bunkering infrastructure in ports, necessitates governmental intervention to make LNG widely adopted as a marine fuel.”

The full speech, entitled, ‘Environmental Sustainability for International Shipping – LNG as a Marine Fuel’ can be read here.

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