Evol LNG, an Australian provider of liquefied natural gas, said it has been given approval by Freemantle Ports to bunker the chilled fuel to LNG-powered marine vessels visiting the port.
The company said in its statement on Thursday that the move comes following Woodside’s five-year charter contract with Norwegian company Siem Offshore Australia to deliver Australia’s first LNG-powered marine support vessel next year.
LNG, delivered from Evol’s Kwinana plant will enable LNG-fueled ships to visit the port and provide the option for local ferries and workboats to switch to the chilled fuel.
Nick Rea, Evol LNG’s business manager said the company expects the global fleet of LNG-fueled ships to continue growing and bases its decision on a long-term strategy.
He added that a number of LNG-fueled vessels grew over the past decade “from a handful to more than 70, with an additional 80 to be build in coming years.”
Rea also expects the adoption of LNG as marine fuel to increase in Australia, as the fuel price gap widens and the cost of LNG-technology keeps dropping “as the technology matures.”
The facility at the Freemantle port will be able to refuel ships at a rate of up to 45 tons per hour via a truck to ship method.
It is expected that the facility will serve “future LNG-fueled workboats servicing Fremantle, the offshore oil and gas fields in the north west of WA, as well as itinerant LNG-fuelled vessels traveling between Australia and south-east Asia,” Rea said.
He noted that in case of rising interest, the company will obtain licenses from other major Australian and regional Western Australian ports to conduct LNG bunkering, and expand the operations since truck-to-ship LNG bunkering can be achieved without building fixed infrastructure.
Evol LNG is managed by Kleenheat, which is part of Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, a part of Wesfarmers Limited.