Photo: Image courtesy; MPA Singapore

Japan, Rotterdam & Singapore form Future Fuels Network

The port organisations of Singapore, Japan, and Rotterdam have signed a memorandum of cooperation aiming to develop a roadmap on the adoption of clean marine fuels.

Next to research and development, the parties will collaborate on possible joint bunkering pilot runs with identified shipping lines to support the decarbonization of the shipping industry.

The trio announced the Future Fuels Network on October 6 during the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON).

“We live in extraordinary and pressing times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is also the moment to re-think our future and ensure we undertake proper measures that both address global warming and the global economic downturn,” Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, commented.

“We can make a tangible difference with a clear roadmap and developing new infrastructure to enable supply and use of low-carbon and clean marine fuels.”

The Port of Rotterdam is home to the world’s largest LNG bunkering ship, Gas Agility. The 18,600-cbm  vessel will be supplying LNG to CMA CGM’s ultra large LNG-powered containerships among others.

The network hopes to welcome more port organisations in the near future.

“Japan is pushing GHG reduction forward under the strong leadership of the government in response to the IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. Alternative fuels without emitting GHG will be used as marine fuels to achieve the reduction,” Takada Masayuki, Director-General of the Port and Harbours Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan, said.

“In order to promote this utilisation, it is important that ports have a bunkering facility for alternative fuel. I strongly believe that Japan can contribute to the formulation of international standards for future marine fuels’ bunkering by the technical capabilities and knowledge developed through the projects of Tokyo Bay and Ise/Mikawa bay regarding LNG bunkering.”

In September, Kawasaki Heavy Industries hosted a naming ceremony for Japan’s first LNG bunkering vessel scheduled to start operations later this year.

The 81.7 meters long 3,500-cbm vessel Kaguya is owned by Central LNG Marine Fuel Japan, a venture consisting of K Line, JERA, Toyota Tsusho, and NYK Line.

Last week, Singapore also named its first LNG bunkering vessel FueLNG Bellina.

FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Shell Eastern Petroleum, will be the first to provide regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering within the nation’s port.

The bunkering vessel is scheduled to be operational by end-2020.

Singapore has been a front runner when it comes to developing the fuels of the future as it describes itself as a living lab for testing of new technologies.

The port authority wants to build on its experience from developing an LNG bunkering infrastructure over the past seven years and use the model to build the infrastructure for alternative fuels.

To that end, MPA and its partners launched a S$40 million Maritime GreenFuture Fund to encourage the research, test-bedding and adoption of low-carbon technologies.

MPA and the Singapore Maritime Institute also commenced the ‘Biofuel Compatibility Study for Singapore Harbour craft.

Led by the Nanyang Technological University’s Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence, the study focuses on alternative energy sources for Singapore’s harbour craft sector.     

The study will examine the environmental, technical, operational and economic viability of bunkering biofuels.

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