South Korea is promoting the use of liquefied natural gas and aims to build the world’s largest LNG-fuelled bulk carrier in a push for green shipping, according to the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The ministry said on Monday it will join forces with state-owned steelmaker POSCO and LNG importing giant KOGAS as well as state institutes to develop a class of 180,000-ton LNG-fuelled vessels.
A deal between POSCO, KOGAS, the Korea Development Bank and marine research institutes, is expected to be signed on Tuesday with the ministry to launch the pilot program.
The program will help boost South Korea’s shipping industry switch to LNG as a clean-burning fuel.
LNG-fuelled vessels are considered an eco-friendly option to meet the International Maritime Organization’s sulfur cap on bunkers, but high construction costs and lack of bunkering facilities have posed challenges to the shippers in the country, the statement notes.
South Korean shipyards have built most of the existing LNG carriers and have been previously contracted to construct LNG-fueled ships, however, there is only one LNG-fuelled vessel currently operating in the country.
The new program goes in hand with South Korea’s plans to boost imports of the chilled fuel for power generation as part of a plan to reduce reliance on coal and nuclear plants.
The country aims to lift its power production capacity by up to a tenth by 2030, mostly using LNG and renewable energy.
South Korea is currently the world’s second-largest buyer of LNG.
LNG World News Staff