The tug will shortly enter service and marks a breakthrough to realising clean environmentally friendly harbour towage services in the port of Singapore.
The vessel was named KST Liberty at a ceremony held at the Keppel Singmarine yard, with Loh Ngai Seng, Permanent Secretary at Singapore's Ministry of Transport as the Guest of Honour. The 65-tonne bollard pull LNG dual-fuel Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tug was built by Keppel Singmarine and the design won the Outstanding Maritime R&D and Technology Award at the 2015 Singapore International Maritime Awards.
Romi Kaushal, md of Keppel Smit Towage stated, "This is a state-of-the-art tug with environmentally-friendly features that exceed the requirements of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) global cap of 0.5% on the sulphur content of marine fuel that comes into force on 1 January 2020. It will substantially reduce CO2 emissions relative to traditional tugs and is a much welcomed green initiative.
“KST Liberty will also increase our capabilities as the fitted LNG tanks will allow for extended harbour operations without the need for refuelling, enhancing operational efficiency. It is also more compact, compared to tugs of same bollard pull, providing enhanced maneuverability. We have built a strong partnership with Keppel over the years who have demonstrated their ability to design and deliver quality vessels that meet our needs.”
Smart designs were incorporated to enhance the tug's safety and comfort. The LNG fuel is carried in containerised, type-C ISO-certified tanks on the main deck, and re-fuelling can be done by truck to ship operations or replacing the empty tanks with replenished ones. It is equipped with an innovative and patented LNG vaporizer which is compact and cost-effective.
Shell will be supplying the LNG fuel to KST Liberty while FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel O&M and Shell Eastern Petroleum, will be providing the LNG bunkering services at Jurong Port.