Global ports are preparing for changes in the shipping industry by improving their liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering infrastructures, according to Lloyd’s Register’s LNG bunkering infrastructural survey 2014.
The survey assessed 22 ports in the North American and European emission control areas (ECAs) and found that 59% of ports have plans for LNG bunkering infrastructure, while 76% ports intend to start operations within five years.
According to the report, ports expect that 13% to 24% of bunkers supplied will be LNG by 2020 or 2025.
Around 73% of ports believe that LNG will be supplied by existing onshore LNG terminals, while 86% of ports stated that the demand for LNG will be from deepsea ships within three to ten years.
In the short-term, ports depend on third party specialist suppliers to supply gas from terminals to ships, however, 47% of ports will have dedicated LNG storage capability for bunkering in the long-term.
Lloyd’s Register senior market analyst Latifat Ajala said that global ports are preparing for a gas-fuelled future for shipping.
"Now we can clearly see that the development of bunkering capability is going to be a vital driver for take-up of LNG by deepsea shipping. Traditional bunkering ports will need to be able to offer gas just as they offer the traditional choice of fuel oil or distillates today," Ajala said.
"Most LNG-fuelled projects seen so far are very short-haul, point-to-point trades where the operator can secure and control gas supply regardless of the global bunkering markets inability to supply LNG."