The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has partnered with the Ports and Harbours Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) to encourage the liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering of car carriers in Asia.

MPA and MLIT will form a working group to conduct a joint feasibility study on LNG bunkering for car carriers travelling between Japan and Singapore as part of the initiative.

The Japanese shipping companies Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) will be included in the working group.

The feasibility study will cover various technical details such fuel tank capacities and refuelling requirements in order to evaluate the viability of deploying LNG-fuelled car carriers between the two countries.

It will be conducted as part of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) that was signed between MPA and MLIT in April.

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Wan said: “Shipping can be less pollutive, and the International Maritime Organisation has introduced a 0.5% global sulphur cap by 2020.

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“This is an opportunity for Singapore and Japan to co-lead in a global search for solutions to make shipping greener. 

“In particular, the joint study on the feasibility of LNG bunkering for car carriers between Japan and Singapore offers great promise. 

"This is an opportunity for Singapore and Japan to co-lead in a global search for solutions to make shipping greener."

"It extends bilateral cooperation to shipping and raises bilateral cooperation to new level.”

Both Singapore and Japan are currently capable of offering LNG bunkering operations via trucks and are set to move towards the next phase of LNG bunkering for ocean-going vessels.

Japan MLIT Minister Keiichi Ishii said: “I believe that Singapore, the world’s top bunkering port, and Japan, the world’s top LNG importer, have the responsibility to contribute to the development of global shipping through jointly promoting the use of LNG as marine fuel.”

MPA and MLIT previously signed a multilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand the network of LNG bunker-ready ports in Europe, the US and Asia in October.

Image: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Chief Executive Andrew Tan. Photo: courtesy of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.