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Petronas ready to start LNG bunkering in Malaysia from January 2020

Malaysia’s Petronas is poised to provide LNG bunkering services starting 1 January 2020 as part of efforts to support the government’s move towards developing the country as a bunkering hub.

Ahmad Adly Alias, vice president of LNG marketing and trading at Petronas, is anticipating the LNG share of the global bunker market to increase up to 7% by 2030 from less than 3% today, the local media reported.

“We have embarked on an initiative to propel Malaysia as an LNG bunkering hub focusing among others, setting up the necessary infrastructure in Pengerang, Johor and Sungai Udang, Malacca,” Ahmad Adly was quoted saying.

He shared 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.

He added that the use of LNG as a marine fuel will contribute to emissions reduction, an issue that the IMO is constantly tackling.

The upcoming IMO regulation will require all ocean-going ships to burn bunker fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% from 1 January 2020, down from the current cap of 3.5%.

In response to stricter global environmental regulations, Petronas has started converting all its 22 LNG vessels to use compliant fuels. The Malaysian oil refiner is also collaborating with various government ministries, authorities and industry players to co-develop policies, guidelines and procedures for safe and effective bunkering operations.

Read more: Malaysian pilots warn of danger to public from planned LNG terminal at Port Klang

“Government support is critical as Malaysia moves forward to embrace the aspiration to the bunkering hub,” Ahmad Adly said.

“This can be 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 said.