SeaRoad Shipping Says Novel LNG Bunkering Solution Was "Met with Dismay"

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday June 15, 2015

Dale Emmerton, National Marine Manager at Australia-based SeaRoad Shipping, says he has come up with a liquid natural gas (LNG) bunkering concept that provides a solution ports with no direct infrastructure for refuelling LNG, Maritime Executive reports.

"Initially, I think we can safely say, our idea was met with dismay around the industry," says  Emmerton.

"At that stage all the development and rules were being based on large permanent tanks fitted below deck."

The concept enables locally available LNG to be bunkered by loading LNG road tank trucks directly onto a newbuild LNG-powered vessel during normal loading operations.

The design features three LNG road tankers connected to a permanent fuel manifold on the ship that can be changed out after every round voyage.

The tankers will reportedly be secured to the vessel in special loading bays on the weather deck with multiple twist-locks.

"LNG as the primary fuel was chosen with an eye to both the present and the future," says Emmerton.

"Currently our ships burn heavy fuel oil which is sourced overseas and imported into Melbourne by a single company for resale and delivery to the vessels. 

"LNG is available locally from multiple sources and is seen as a more reliable and certainly cleaner energy source."

Steel cutting for the new ship said to be starting in Germany's Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) shipyard in September 2015.

DNV GL is reportedly providing full classification services and liaising with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on its statutory requirements.

"Our eye to the future involved both the stability of supply and also the very strong likelihood that Australia will join other developed countries in banning the use of heavy fuel oil in the coastal waters where our vessels will exclusively trade," added Emmerton.

"Australia has significant reserves of natural gas which should ensure security of supply into the future."

In March, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) speculated that LNG will likely become "the marine fuel of the future," commanding up to 27 percent of the bunker market by 2025.