Ahead of a forthcoming federal election, Gas Energy Australia (GEA), the nation’s downstream gaseous fuels peak industry body, provided a submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DoRIC) on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) marine bunkering in Australia.
This submission will help inform DoIRC on alternative fuels for Australia’s contribution to the upcoming meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
GEA highlighted the environmental benefits of marine LNG and Australia’s capabilities now and into the future to service the marine LNG industry. GEA’s submission also demonstrated how marine LNG has the ability to comply with the IMO’s Sulphur limit for 2020 and the opportunities to meet zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requirements into the future with the development and utilisation of biogas technology.
Additionally, GEA detailed Australian industry’s readiness for the uptake of LNG as a marine fuel, Australia’s current LNG bunkering capabilities, and GEA’s development of a project proposal to adopt ISO 20519: Ships and marine technology: specification for bunkering of liquified natural gas fuelled vessels.
GEA also highlighted how adoption for these international standards would create increased certainty for the industry and allow the increased uptake and utilisation of LNG as a marine fuel.
GEA will continue to engage with the DoIRDC on the IMO and GHG work and continue to provide information to it on the development and utilisation of marine LNG in Australia.
LNG Bunkering Evolving in Australia
Supporting the establishment of LNG as a marine fuel not just in Australia but internationally is the LNG Marine Fuel Institute in Perth, Western Australia. Speaking on the sidelines of the Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition 2019, on this week in Perth, Mary Hackett, a board member of the Institute, said “Iron ore shipping from the Pilbara is a substantial market. We know that in a couple of years, we could transform almost 50% of that market to an LNG outcome. So, we would see, rather than using heavy fuel oil, large vessels using LNG.”
“That’s an immense difference!” she added, noting that in a single year a single large container ship can produce emissions equivalent to that of about 50 million cars.
In November last year, Woodside, the pioneer of the LNG industry in Australia and the largest Australian natural gas producer, said it is preparing an LNG fuels hub to capture the environmental and commercial benefits. The first step is building a facility at its Pluto LNG plant to supply trucked LNG for remote power generation in the Pilbara, displacing diesel, and for mining equipment, including trucks and trains. The second phase of the hub will be a bunker ship, to take LNG from Pluto and provide it to ocean-going vessels, such as iron-ore carriers.
Back in 2017, Woodside launched the Siem Thiima, the first LNG-fuelled marine support vessel in the southern hemisphere. The company continues to work with major mining and shipping companies on converting busy trade routes to Asia into an LNG-fuelled “Green Corridor”.