SINGAPORE, May 2 (Reuters) - Pavilion Energy has performed the first commercial ship-to-ship (STS) liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling operation in the port of Singapore, the company said.
The operation included loading 2,000 cubic metres of LNG onto a small-scale tanker at the Singapore LNG (SLNG) Terminal, followed by an STS transfer to a receiving heavy-lift commercial vessel, Pavilion Energy said in a statement on Thursday.
The use of LNG as a marine or bunker fuel has grown amid tightening regulations on global shipping emissions.
“We strongly believe that LNG will become the worldwide fuel of choice for bunkering in the long term,” said Tan Soo Koong, chief executive officer of SLNG.
“We are keen to work with all stakeholders and invest in infrastructure as necessary, to help grow LNG bunkering here,” Tan said.
Pavilion Energy is a Singapore-based LNG company incorporated by state-owned Temasek Holdings to invest in clean energy.
From 2020, International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will ban ships from using fuels with a sulphur content above 0.5 percent - compared with 3.5 percent now - unless they are equipped to clean their sulphur emissions.
Using LNG to power ships instead of traditional fuels like fuel oil or gasoil can reduce polluting emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides by 90 to 95 percent, according to industry estimates.
Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering hub with sales of 49.8 million tonnes of fuel in 2018.
Other major bunkering ports like Rotterdam in the Netherlands have also encouraged the use of LNG bunkers.
In Rotterdam, demand for cleaner-burning LNG rose more than sixfold in 2018 to 9,500 tonnes, up from 1,500 tonnes in the year before. (Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Tom Hogue)