Keppel Singmarine, a fully-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M), has secured a deal from Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime to build two dual-fuel diesel liquefied natural gas (LNG) tugs for each of the companies.

Keppel O&M has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) to jointly explore opportunities in using LNG as fuel in coastal areas, inland waterways and global marine sectors.

Scheduled to be completed by 2018, the two tugs will receive bunkering services from FueLNG, a new 50-50 joint venture owned by Keppel and Shell.

"We will continue to seize opportunities along the LNG value chain and help owners deliver LNG efficiently to end markets."

Under separate deals, Shell will supply the LNG fuel to both Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime over a period of ten years.

As part of its LNG bunkering pilot programme (LBPP), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore will also grant a sum of S$2m ($1.4m) to co-fund the tugs, which will feature Keppel's proprietary design.

Keppel Offshore & Marine CEO Chow Yew Yuen said: "We are happy to secure orders to build our first two dual-fuel tugs which will be built to Keppel's award-winning proprietary designs.

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“Keppel has a strong in-house research and development (R&D) unit that has developed innovative designs including LNG carriers and barges to meet the maritime industry's needs as the demand for green solutions and LNG rises.

“Combining this R&D capability with our rich shipyard expertise, we will continue to seize opportunities along the LNG value chain and help owners deliver LNG efficiently to end markets."

Last month, Keppel O&M subsidiary Keppel FELS delivered a fifth high-specification accommodation semisubmersible (semi), Floatel Triumph, to Floatel International (Floatel).