Gazprom Neft, a vertically integrated Russian oil company, says it marine fuel bunkering business Gazpromneft Marine Bunker is aiming to expand its marine-fuels product range in the medium term to include liquefied natural gas (LNG), with steps already taken to ensure fulfilment. Andrei Vasilyev, CEO, Gazprom Neft Marine Bunker commented: “The bunkering industry is on the verge of ground-breaking transformation.”
“The new MARPOL standards, together with growing demand for environmentally-friendly fuels, are having a major impact on Gazpromneft Marine Bunker’s long-term development strategy. In order to strengthen our market-leading position and ensure competitiveness over the next few years we are, already, expanding our fuel portfolio to include cutting-edge and high-technology oil products, and are working on mechanisms to establish a new and promising niche in LNG bunkering in Russia,” Vasilyev stated.
MARPOL, the “International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships”, was amended in early 2015 by the introduction of regulation governing the permissible amount of sulphur in marine fuels used in vessels covering Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA, covering shipping zones including the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, where vessels are required to switch to low-sulphur fuels).
Specification for bunkering LNG
In December last year, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker introduced ISO 20519:2017 standard “Ships and marine technology — Specification for bunkering of liquefied natural gas fuelled vessels” in Russian shipping.
This regulation is based on the 2017 international standard for vessels operating on LNG, and establishes the main requirements for bunkering and bunkered vessels using LNG for fuel, governing, specifically, the technological processes and procedures involved in LNG bunkering, outlining design specifications for fuel delivery systems, and determining recommendations on personnel training, accounting and documentation.
Andrei Vasiliev, CEO, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker, commented: “LNG has considerable potential as a marine fuel thanks to its ecological characteristics and the cost-effectiveness of using it. Every year the proportion of commercial vessels operating on natural-gas-based fuels is going to increase, which will require the active development of infrastructure for LNG bunkering. Introducing this new standard in Russia definitely marks the starting point in developing a new bunkering sector in our country, using environmentally friendly natural-gas-based fuel.”
LNG Bunker barge
As part of realising the full potential of its bunkering business Gazpromneft Marine Bunker announced in April 2018 it was aiming to build Russia’s first LNG-bunkering barge by 2020, as well as take part in the development of a legal and regulatory framework for the fulfilment of LNG bunkering at Russian ports.