KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 -- Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is ready to provide commercial liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering services by January 1, 2020, in support of the government’s ambition towards making Malaysia as a bunkering hub.
It’s vice president LNG marketing and trading Ahmad Adly Alias said as one of the world’s major LNG producer, the national oil and gas giant is well-positioned to develop the cleaner LNG as the fuel of choice for the industry as it emits zero sulphur when burnt.
This would ensure LNG emerge as a strong contender to the traditional bunker fuel and further strengthen its market potential he said, adding that the LNG share of bunker market is expected to increase up to seven per cent by 2030 from less than three per cent today.
“In capitalising this advantage, we have embarked on an initiative to propel Malaysia as an LNG bunkering hub focusing among others, setting up the necessary infrastructures in Pengerang, Johor and Sungai Udang, Malacca,” he said during his keynote address at the Green Shipping Conference in collaboration with the World Maritime Week Malaysia.
Bunkering refers to the supply of fuel for use by ships which includes the shipboard logistics of loading fuel and distributing it among available bunker tanks.
The term “bunkering” originated during the days of steamships, when fuel, coal, are stored in bunkers.
Ahmad Adly also noted that Petronas is in the midst of upgrading its regasification terminal in Sungai Udang to enable the facility to perform LNG reloads by the first quarter of 2020, thus establishing its second LNG bunkering hub.
Quoting the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development, he said that it has been estimated that out of the US$20 trillion global trade, 85 per cent is attributed by the shipping industry.
“Despite the development, this has brought inevitable harmful pollution to the environment via greenhouse emissions of 846 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and 5.3 million tonnes of sulphur oxide.
“In addressing this issues, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has endorsed the Marine Pollution Annex VI global sulphur emission, whereby the limit of sulphur in marine fuel will be limited to 0.5 per cent from the existing 3.5 per cent sulphur content by mass effective Jan 1, 2020,” he explained.
On that note, Petronas, he said, has begun advocating the conversion to cleaner fuels since 2017.
The national oil and gas company has started converting all its 22 LNG vessels to use compliant fuels via the compliance fuels supply programme.
Also in embracing the IMO 2020 regulation, Petronas is collaborating with various ministries, authorities and industry players to co-develop the much-needed policies, guidelines and procedures for safe and effective bunkering operations.
“Government’s support is critical as Malaysia moves forward to embrace the aspiration to the bunkering hub.
“This can be manifested through manifested through provision of incentives or financial assistance to the industries as well as a conducive policy to accelerate the adoption of LNG as a cleaner marine fuel and stimulating sustainable growth,” he added.