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Switch to LNG bunkering: Not going to be all that easy
Mar 23:   The switch to LNG bunkering after the 2020 sulphur emissions norms coming into existence is going to more complicated than it seems as of now even though news has come in of the SCF group placed an order for the first four
8LNG-fueled Aframax tankers. Four firm 114,000 dwt ice-class newbuildings have been ordered at HHI.
8Unsurprisingly these Aframaxes will unlikely be traded worldwide initially and will be used for lifting crude from Russia and discharging in the Baltic and Northern European regions. These two areas also happen to have some of the most developed facilities in terms of LNG bunkering.
8Eventually, fueling multiple large-scale containers or large tankers will be a different story and one that will question the logistics of the current bunker market.
8Can LNG simply mirror that of current fuel oil bunkering? For a start the barrier to entry is set high simply by the prohibitive costs of entry. The quantities and logistics required to operate a large scale system would be difficult to be serviced by a small bunker vessel, especially if needed in multiple locations.
8Quayside fueling will also prove difficult. Cryogenic pipes are expensive, and the timings of containers would require fueling whilst operations at port take place. Still, these challenges will be overcome with time and can’t be all worked out whilst the industry is still relatively small.
8But we should all be pleased with the recent news and that the LNG bunkering story is still heading in the right direction.
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