Singapore and Japan Announce New Joint Feasibility Study on LNG Bunkering

Monday August 28, 2017

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) today announced that, along with and the Ports and Harbours Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT), it will lead a working group to conduct a feasibility study on liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering for car carriers travelling between Japan and Singapore.

Announced at at the inaugural Singapore and Japan Port Seminar 2017 held in Singapore today, the working group is set to see participation from Japan’s big three shippers – Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).

"I believe that Singapore, the world’s top bunkering port, and Japan, the world’s top LNG importer, have the responsibility to contribute to the development of global shipping through jointly promoting the use of LNG as marine fuel," said Keiichi Ishii, Japan's Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

"The joint feasibility study will play an important role in ensuring that the collaboration between the two countries yield concrete results. I strongly hope we will get great research results."

The study will focus on the technical details such as fuel tank capacities and refuelling requirements to assess the feasibility of running LNG-fuelled car carriers between Japan and Singapore.

"Shipping can be less pollutive and the International Maritime Organization has introduced a 0.5 percent global sulfur cap by 2020.  This is an opportunity for Singapore and Japan to co-lead in a global search for solutions to make shipping greener," said Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Transport of Singapore.

"In particular, the joint study on the feasibility of LNG bunkering for car carriers between Japan and Singapore offers great promise.  It extends bilateral cooperation to shipping and raises bilateral cooperation to new level."

MPA and MLIT have signed a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), concluded in Singapore in October 2016, to widen the network of LNG bunker-ready ports in Europe, US and Asia.

Last year, Tan said that the reduced emissions when burning LNG bunkers, and the good track record of LNG being transported as cargo and used as fuel in LNG carriers, "gives confidence to the industry that LNG can be widely adopted as a marine fuel going forward."