Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Vessel Bunkered with LNG in the UK

Move to New Fuel Expected to Accelerate in Next Few Years
Shipping News Feature
UK – Flogas Britain, the UK’s leading LNG provider, has partnered with Associated British Ports (ABP) to bunker a ship with liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the first time ever in the UK. The pioneering project, which mirrors similar successful schemes in other European countries, saw the 110-metre carrier Ireland, operated by Norwegian shipping firm KGJ Cement AS, refuelled with LNG at the Port of Immingham on Wednesday 16th August.

The joint venture between Flogas and ABP marks a significant step forward for maritime bunkering in the UK. It means ships from across the globe will now have direct access to LNG – a fuel that is becoming increasingly popular in shipping, due to its ability to help vessels comply with current and future climate legislation. Lee Gannon, Managing Director at Flogas, explains:

“At Flogas, we pride ourselves on leading the way when it comes to developing the LNG industry in the UK, and exploring new opportunities for end users to benefit from this highly versatile fuel. There is great potential for LNG in the maritime industry as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional oil-based bunker fuels, but until now this potential has remained untapped here in the UK.”

Although only a limited number of ships currently bunker with LNG, demand is expected to grow rapidly. Both Flogas and ABP see potential to replace thousands of tonnes of heavy fuel oil each year with cleaner, cost-effective LNG, especially once the cap on sulphur content in marine fuel oil that is mandated by the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) comes into place in 2020, reducing limits from 3.5% to 0.5%. Mark Frith, Port Manager for ABP Immingham and Grimsby, said:

“We are proud to be a key part of this flagship operation, which has really put the UK on the map as the latest European hub for more climate-friendly bunkering. Demand is already beginning to shift away from oil across the international fleet, and we very much see natural gas taking its place as the marine fuel of choice. We look forward to welcoming increasing numbers of ships to Immingham as a result of our new and unique offering in partnership with Flogas.”