U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil has signed a two-year time charter agreement with Singapore-based Sinanju Tankers for Singapore’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered bunker tanker.
Sinanju said on Friday that it entered into the charter agreement on July 25 with the U.S. giant’s subsidiary ExxonMobil Asia Pacific.
The charter for a new-build bunker tanker was signed five months ahead of beginning operations.
The 7,990-dwt newbuild will be the first bunker tanker for Singapore and Sinanju to be powered mainly by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The company told LNG World News that the vessel would be christened Marine Vicky on September 3.
The deal will commit Marine Vicky to deliver ExxonMobil’s new Engineered Marine Fuels (EMF.5) to ocean-going vessels within Singapore port limits from the first quarter of 2020.
EMF.5 marine fuels are designed to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global rules that limit the sulfur content in marine fuels to 0.5% from 2020, from 3.5% currently
Under the Maritime Singapore Green Port Program, registered vessels that are serviced by alternative or cleaner marine fuelled harbor crafts during their port stay – such as receiving bunker from LNG-powered bunker tankers – stand to receive a 10 percent port dues concession.
Ju Kai Meng, managing director of Sinanju, said: “Sinanju is delighted to enter into a new phase of collaboration with ExxonMobil, with whom we have had a long and successful working relationship.
“We will now focus on competence building through hands-on operations of this LNG-powered bunker tanker. I believe the invaluable experience garnered will serve as a strong foundation towards our preparation to embark on ship-to-ship LNG bunker deliveries from 2021.”
As for the vessel, the Marine Vicky is a 103-meter long 19-m wide bunker tanker. It is equipped with a 55 cbm LNG tank paired with a fuel gas supply system on deck for engine propulsion.
The vessel is currently being built at Keppel Offshore & Marine’s shipyard in Nantong, China. It is expected to join Sinanju’s 13-vessel bunker fleet in December 2019.