As of 1 January 2020, the International Marine Organization (IMO) enforced stricter emission requirements, with the grand aim of improving the environment and the health of the world's population. The aim is to curb sulphur emissions and have a mandatory requirement to switch to lower sulphur shipping fuels, with a 0.5 wt% global sulphur cap for marine fuels used in international shipping.
Owing to this factor, the LNG bunkering market is expected to witness significant growth in the years to come, as LNG is likely to be an economic and greener marine fuel alternative.
Many ports are investing heavily in LNG infrastructure, also for bunkering purposes. With IMO catalysing change in the shipping industry, this creates a good basis for establishing an infrastructure of small and medium-scale terminals, bunker vessels and trucks for supplying LNG as a bunker fuel.
Such infrastructures are very costly, and the only way forward improving return on investment is a combination of economies of scale, flexible migration strategies and innovative technical solutions which reduce overall investment risk.
Challenges with LNG Bunkering
SIMOPS: Safety zones can be challenging for simultaneous bunkering of LNG with the transfer of passengers and cargo between ship and quay.
Available infrastructure: Existing ports with LNG bunkering facilities are unable to cater for small-scale vessels.
Real Estate: Existing ports are congested – any additional expansion with fixed infrastructure will be extremely challenging.
Cost: Bunkering facilities are costly and normally requires high customers in high volume so the return on investment is sufficiently attractive.
The UTS ® can be used to bunker any size vessel nearshore, thus eliminating the need for LNG trucks, bunker vessel or bunker station in port.
The UTS can accommodate dual project applications from the same onshore or offshore terminal; unloading of LNG for gas-to-power, and loading capabilities when in bunkering mode, thereby supporting capacity balance at the terminal.
By moving bunkering operations offshore, the lack of harmonisation of international standards for LNG facilities in ports and slower uptake of LNG as a marine fuel can be overcome.
Bunkering in ports
Flexible: A fully floating system that can be retracted and stored when not in use.
Plug & Play: Turn-key bunkering infrastructure when combined with onshore storage.
Universal: The loading system can be connected to a range in ship sizes and can be painlessly implemented into existing terminals.
SIMOPS: The system isolates bunkering operations from the pier/quay area, hence increases safety for cargo operation and boarding of passengers.
Autonomous: Electrical thrusters for propulsion – no need for tugs.
Flexible: Insulated rigid pipes combined with flexible joints ensures that the LNG remains at cryognic temperatures.
Cost-efficient: Significantly lower CAPEX compared to dedicated bunkering vessels.
A selection of our customers and industry partners
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Connect LNG was born from first-hand experience with the challenges and inefficiencies of traditional LNG offloading methods from ship to shore. Our core offerings remove the need for fixed and permanent infrastructure such as quays, jetties, trestle structures and loading platforms. Dredging, which is expensive and damaging to coastal areas, can be eliminated with Connect LNG’s floating jettyless transfer solution.