SIBCON22: Vote of Confidence for 'Pragmatic' LNG Bunkers From Singapore Government

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday October 5, 2022

A senior representative of Singapore's government expressed firm support for LNG as a bunker fuel at the city-state's flagship marine fuels event on Wednesday.

Chee Hong Tat, Singapore's senior minister of state for finance and transport, dedicated a section of his opening address at Sibcon to setting out why the city-state's government supports LNG as a bunker fuel.

Much of what the minister said echoes the arguments put forward by supporters of LNG bunkering, and a senior official at the world's largest bunkering hub expressing these sentiments will come as a welcome development to the LNG industry.

LNG as a bunker fuel has come under repeated attack in recent years for its status as another fossil fuel, as well as the GHG emissions associated with its methane slip problem, and opponents tend to play down the potential for it to be gradually replaced by bio- and synthetic variants.

"On alternative fuels, we believe that LNG is a pragmatic transition fuel which is readily available today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Chee said.

"Significant funding is going into R&D and engine development to address methane slippage concerns.

"I want to be clear, LNG is not zero-carbon, but it is better than traditional bunker fuels.

"The approach that we are taking is, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

"We are still doing research on the other, zero-carbon, fuels, but they're not quite commercially feasible at this stage on a large scale.

"Therefore we want to take a practical step, which is to use LNG as a transitional fuel.

"I believe LNG has the potential to achieve even greater reduction in emissions through bio-LNG or synthetic LNG."

Singapore saw 50,000 mt of LNG bunker sales last year. That number is likely to grow significantly this year, although the growth will be limited by the current high LNG bunker prices limiting demand from dual-fuelled vessels.

LNG priced in fuel oil terms at Rotterdam has jumped by 55.7% so far this year, according to Ship & Bunker pricing, while VLSFO has gained 11.3%.