South Korea is moving forward with plans to promote the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for vessels in a push for green shipping and to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s sulfur cap.
The country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said in a statement it will sign a collaboration agreement with LNG importing giant KOGAS, H-Line Shipping, as well as local shipbuilders and provincial port authorities on Wednesday to launch a project to build a 80,000-ton LNG-powered bulk carrier.
The parties will thereafter conduct a feasibility study of the design and construction of the LNG-powered vessel. If everything goes well, H-Line Shipping would commission a bulk carrier newbuilding of this design in 2018.
To remind, the ministry has in September this year signed a deal with state-owned steelmaker POSCO and KOGAS as well as state institutes to develop a class of 180,000-ton LNG-powered vessel.
LNG-powered vessels are considered an eco-friendly option to meet the IMO’s sulfur cap on bunkers, but high construction costs and lack of bunkering facilities have posed challenges to the shippers in the country.
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 such vessel currently operating in the country.
These plans on boosting LNG as fuel go in hand with South Korea’s plans to increase imports of LNG for power generation to reduce reliance on coal and nuclear plants.
LNG World News Staff