1st LNG fueled vessel “Glutra” was launched in 2001 (Norway), so actually speaking LNG Bunkering (though on a very small scale at that time) is already existing for last 22 years.
Back in Feb 2015, one of the RoRo vessels (LNG fuelled) enroute Europe received LNG at Kochi terminal as fuel. Since then, no other documented record is available that indicates LNG Bunkering ops are conducted within Indian waters.
LNG Bunkering market has matured within NW Europe, has significant presence in Singapore and Johor (main shipping lane) and Mediterranean Sea where significant development has taken place. Infrastructure is being developed within East Coast of USA. A little presence is in China (though only one LBV so far) as well. So, the question arises where India stands on the IGF infrastructure development ladder? A simple answer is nowhere.
As of today, according to SGMF, there are:
- 426 LNG fuelled vessels in operations.
- 536 LNG fuelled vessels and LNG BVs (LNG Bunkering Vessels) on order.
- 34 LBVs, and
- 114 ports supplying LNG as fuel.
Considering the growth of IGF vessels, that will call Indian ports (at least the major ones), and the normal traffic passing within the vicinity of Indian Territorial waters and many Islands within the neighbourhood requiring LNG for domestic purposes, it only indicates that India must develop the LNG Bunkering infrastructure soonest possible.
There are a few LNG terminals now covering East and West Coast of India which will feed to LBVs. It only requires someone with a great will to invest into medium size LBVs so that these could be deployed on both the sides. The Indian government must play a vital role by offering subsidies, same as what European Union is providing within Europe if we are serious about environment and reducing carbon footprint.
LNG might be considered as a Transition Fuel, but this is going to be a very long transition. The sooner we act, better for environment.
More in the next update…
About the Author :
Capt. Manish is a seasoned, result oriented Master Mariner, authority on Ship-Ship / Shore Compatibility & Mooring Simulation within LNG trade, expert on LNG Bunkering and providing IGF training (having various Flag approvals including MCA UK).