South Korea’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (Minister Kim Young-chun) held a briefing in Busan last week to launch and discuss a Ministry-initiated core technology development and system construction project aimed at kicking off the country’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering infrastructure.
As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decides to strengthen the sulfur content standards for ship fuels, it is anticipated that ships using liquefied natural gas (LNG), an environmentally friendly fuel, will increase significantly around the world. Accordingly, the Ministry will initiate an ‘LNG bunkering core technology development and system construction project’ to preemptively respond to the expected expansion of LNG carriers and to take a leadership role in the domestic LNG bunker industry.
The project will be carried out from 2018 to 2022 with the participation of the Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering (KRISO), the Korea Shipbuilding and Marine Equipment Research Institute (KOMERI), the Korea Institute of Marine Science & Technology (KIMST) and the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM). This year, KRW 3.1 billion (USD 2.9 million) will be invested.
The project will consist of (1) the development and demonstration of a LNG bunkering system for the Korean coast, and (2) the development of core materials for LNG bunkering and the establishment of a test and evaluation system, elaborated as follows:
- ‘Development of a customized LNG bunkering system for coastal vessels’ is a project to develop and demonstrate a marine LNG bunkering facility in line with the increasing domestic demand for LNG bunkering. The project will develop and demonstrate barge-type maritime LNG bunkering facilities.
- ‘Technology development and technical support infrastructure construction for core materials for LNG bunkering’ is a project to build a system for testing and evaluating LNG bunkerage equipment and supporting the development and localisation of LNG bunkering core equipment of SMEs through free offer.
About 50 experts from the leading organizations and entities committed to the project participated in the briefing session and presented plans and research content pertaining to the project.
“The LNG bunkering industry is a new industry that can create new jobs and generate new jobs in the shipping, shipbuilding and port industries,” said Mr Song Myeong Moon, director of the Ocean Policy Division at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. “We will actively promote this and make efforts to become a leading country in the LNG bunkering field in Korea.”
The only operating LNG-fuelled vessel in Korea at present is the bulk carrier Green Iris, used for coastal logistics and fueled by KOGAS using truck-to-ship technology.
- Purpose of business: Development of LNG bunkering core technology and support base for technical support for establishment of LNG-propelled vessel operating system and support for entering into new industry
- Project period / total business expenses: 2018 – 2022 / 27 billion won (2018 budget 3.1 billion won)
- Development and demonstration of customized LNG bunkering system for coastal vessel for bunkering of coastal LNG propulsion vessel
- Establishment of support system for related equipments through development of core equipment for LNG bunkering and construction of performance evaluation system
- Development of optimal operation procedure and technology for safety-based LNG bunkering system, development of emergency response procedure and worker safety training system