The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has invested roughly S$12m ($8.89m) as part of an initiative to improve Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operations at the Port of Singapore.
The authority plans to use half of the amount to co-fund the building of new LNG bunker vessels (LBVs) to aid the development of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering at the port.
MPA will use the remaining funding to top up its existing co-funding programme in support of the construction of LNG-fuelled vessels.
The initial financing for this programme was initially launched in September 2015 and has been used to support Keppel SMIT Towage, Maju Maritime, Harley Marine Asia, Sinanju Tankers and PSA Marine.
MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: “With the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5% global sulphur cap on 1 January 2020, LNG is a viable and tested solution for shipowners.
“As the world’s largest bunkering hub, MPA will support future demand by promoting the development of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore.
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“This will provide the industry greater confidence in the availability of LNG supply across key shipping routes.”
MPA is seeking applications from interested companies to assist in the co-financing of up to S$3m ($2.22m) per LBV.
Companies must be incorporated in the country to be eligible for application, while the funded vessels are required to be registered with the Singapore Registry of Ships.
Furthermore, they need to be licensed for bunkering activities in the Port of Singapore for at least five years.
Applicants will be required to submit a business plan for the proposed LBV, which will see participants work with MPA’s existing LNG bunker supply licensees.
Applications are set to close on 31 March next year.