A coalition to promote liquefied natural gas as fuel officially launched last week in Canberra with the aim of establishing Australian LNG as a primary fuel for marine transportation.
The LNG Marine Fuel Institute was launched at an event at Parliament House on June 21.
Richard Sandover, Chairman of the new institute was joined by officials from Japan, Norway, USA, Singapore and Korea, among others.
“In mid-2016, a group of people from the Australian marine, LNG, academic and general commercial sectors came together. We shared a conviction that bunkering heavy fuel oil which traditionally powers global maritime shipping trade had to change,” Sandover said in his speech.
“It was clear to us that LNG, a significantly cleaner transitional energy source, could and should replace heavy fuel oil in the maritime shipping industry,” he added.
According to Sandover, the group had seen a number of opportunities including the chance to position Australia at the forefront of the development of LNG as a marine and transport fuel and establish an LNG bunkering industry in the country.
“Out of this was born the idea of establishing the LNG Marine Fuel Institute, a fact based, independent, not for profit organisation,” he said.
Sandover noted in his speech that as a “great trading nation and soon to be the single biggest exporter of LNG, Australia is well placed to embrace early adoption of LNG as a marine transport fuel.”
The vision of the institute is for Australia to play a leading role in the supply of LNG as a global marine fuel.
“LNG MFI supports the establishment of a ‘green corridor’ for the bulk ore and LNG export trade between China and Australia … Japan and Australia … Korea and Australia and other south east Asian countries,” Sandover said.
“With collaboration between industry, government and the community this can lead to the establishment of an LNG bunkering industry in Australia, jobs for Australians and enhanced energy security for Australia,” he said.
Today, Australia is over 90% reliant on imported transport fuels, despite extensive gas reserves. “This reliance on imported fuels is an unsustainable model,” he said.
In his conclusion, Sanders said that the new institute sees a future for LNG fuels, not only in the marine industry, but also for road, rail and mining industries being fuelled by Australian gas.
“For LNG MFI … it is about Australia gaining energy independence. Our CEO and director, Captain Walter Purio describes this as our ‘noble cause’ and he is right,” Sandover said.
LNG World News Staff