A group of South Korean companies including shipbuilders have come together to establish an association dedicated to developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering facilities and infrastructures including LNG-fueled vessels, says a report in the Pulse.
Last week, officials representing 21 private and state-run entities in Korea gathered to attend the inaugural meeting of the LNG Bunkering Industrial Association.
They were from major shipbuilding and energy companies including Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Korea Gas Corporation, Posco Co., Samchully Corp., GS Energy Corp. and SK Energy Co.
The association was founded after four years of preparation work with an aim to nurture the country’s LNG bunkering industry that is yet in its infant stage.
The Korean government has also rolled up its sleeves to support Korean shipbuilders expand their presence in the global LNG bunkering market.
According to Lee Kwan-Sup, vice minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, S. Korea can establishe a major LNG bunkering center on its coast and increase LNG import volumes, so that it can sharpen its bargaining power as a main buyer.
The energy ministry
in the world's biggest shipbuilder said it hoped to win 70 percent of global orders for duel-fuel tankers by 2025.
As it sees there is yet lack of international standards in the LNG fuel vessel and bunkering market, the government plans to initiate its own standardization work for the industry to become a first mover and gain more competitiveness.
According to a recent report by Singapore-based consultancy TRI-ZEN International Pte Ltd (TRI-ZEN) South Korea is making progress with its LNG bunker infrastructure and a dedicated LNG bunkering services will start in 2017 at Tongyeong.
The world's second-largest LNG importer also plans to start running bunkering shuttles from vessels carrying LNG to those that need it as fuel in 2018.