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DNV GL and Qatar lead the charge for LNG as a marine fuel

DNV GL and Qatar lead the charge for LNG as a marine fuel
DNV GL has launched a new recommended practice (RP) covering LNG bunkering to coincide with Qatar's announcement of its development of a supply strategy for LNG as a marine fuel in Qatar and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The LNG Bunkering in the Middle East & South Asia RP builds on the principals contained in the ISO Committee's draft guideline on LNG Bunkering from 2013 and establishes a starting point for the development and operation of LNG bunkering facilities while protecting people and the environment.

The RP also addresses what DNV GL sees as a lagging behind of international standardisation compared to the uptake of LNG-fuelled shipping.

The class society noted that the global LNG-fuelled fleet recently surpassed 100 ships operating or as firm orders, reflecting a strong future for LNG as a major marine fuel.

For some of the largest of those ships, partially Qatar-backed UASC announced its plans earlier this year to introduce a Middle East LNG bunkering facility for its DNV GL-classed fleet of "LNG ready" mega-boxships on order at Hyundai Heavy Industries. It is understood UASC plans to convert the ships to LNG power within three years of coming into service.

Through the RP and the establishment of common equipment and procedures, it is hoped that the barriers to adoption of LNG as a marine fuel will be lowered, allowing more refuelling options for ships without sacrificing safety and quality.

"The forthcoming international environmental regulations will create a demand for more LNG-fuelled ships," asserted Abdul Aziz Al Muftah, director of industrial cities at Qatar Petroleum (QP). "Concrete initiatives will be taken by Qatar Petroleum to build the first LNG-fuelled harbour tug for the Ras Laffan port and the first two LNG-fuelled offshore service vessels (OSVs) for QP offshore fields."

DNV GL regional manager maritime advisory Middle East & India added: "Qatar's entry as a provider of LNG for the marine industry will be a game-changer given that it is the largest single exporter of LNG globally.. Concurrently launching the RP will ensure bunkering operations are predictable, safe and compatible in Qatar, across the Middle East and the rest of the world."