Speaking at the launch reception of the Singapore-headquartered, Japanese joint venture container line, Ocean Network Express (ONE) HE Kenji Shinoda, the Japanese Ambassador to Singapore, outlined cooperation between Japan and Singapore on the maritime front describing the Southeast Asian nation as an “excellent natural partner for Japan”.
“Both governments are closely working together on such a new sector as LNG bunkering. We are coopearting with each other on based on the conecpt which I would call the Singapore, Japan twin hub colaboration,” Shinoda told guests in his speech.
Last year Japan and Singapore set up a working group to study the feasibility of using LNG powered car carriers plying the trade between the countries.
“Singapore will become the hub in southeast Asia and Japan will become the hub for northeast Asia together forming the Asia portion of the global LNG hub network in terms of bunkering,” he said.
Work is progressing and now Japan has set projects to offer ship-to-ship LNG bunkering. “As for the Japanese side as of today I'm delighted to witness the start up of two full fledged government and private sector collaborations at two locations at Yokohama and Nagoya Port areas, for next stage LNG bunkering, in other words ship-to-ship bunkering,” the Ambassador said.
In Singapore Keppel and Shell joint venture FueLNG recently ordered an LNG bunkering vessel at Keppel Offshore and Marine to offer ship-to-ship LNG refuelling in the port of Singapore from third quarter 2020.
“I expect this Singapore-Japan green hub collaboration could be the key to mutually benfeicially of the status of beoth Singapore and Japanese ports as global hubs,” Shinoda said.
Using LNG as fuel is one of the ways in owners are seeking to comply with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) global 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuel form 1 January 2020.