A group of ports, including Antwerp and Zeebrugge, Belgium; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Singapore, have joined hands together to develop a set of harmonised liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering standards.

The ports have formed a body, called the Network of Ports and Maritime Administrations, which also includes Jacksonville, US and Norway, to create the world’s first harmonised LNG bunkering guidelines.

Additionally, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to include the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan; and Ulsan Port Authority, South Korea in the Network of Ports and Maritime Administrations.

"MPA is pleased to co-operate and work with ports in Europe and the US, and moving ahead, Asian ports."

The new standards will ensure streamlining of the LNG bunkering operations process. They will also assist ports intending to be LNG bunker-ready. 

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) chief executive Andrew Tan said: “As the world’s largest bunkering hub, MPA is pleased to co-operate and work with ports in Europe and the US, and moving ahead, Asian ports, to encourage the use of cleaner marine fuels such as LNG.

“This development of harmonised bunkering standards is one of the key components in enabling LNG bunkering operations to be conducted safely.

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“We will continue to work with and through this focus group to facilitate LNG as an alternative marine fuel for the future.”

The Network of Ports and Maritime Administrations will apply International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) documents to develop the new LNG bunkering standards.

Meanwhile, MPA unveiled various new initiatives to improve the country’s bunkering processes at the recently concluded Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON).

Image: MoU inked to further efforts to facilitate uptake of LNG for the future. Photo: courtesy of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.