Blog: SEA\LNG Members deepen discussion on LNG as Transport Fuel at LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2017


Author: Sakura Kuma, Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port

Hosted by The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC), the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference (LNG PCC) 2017 was held on October 18th.

LNG PCC has been one of the most influential platforms, since 2012, for global discussions around LNG as a marine fuel. The conference provides an opportunity for open dialogue between LNG producers, consumers, and other stakeholders, with a view to share and deepen understanding of market trends and to further develop the global LNG market. Conference delegates included governments, institutes, international organisations, and LNG-related industry professionals from across the globe.

As LNG increasingly attracts attention globally for its function as a marine fuel, a new panel titled “LNG as Transport Fuel” was added to the LNG PCC 2017. One of the firmly determined promoters of LNG as marine fuel, Mr. Masamichi Morooka, President and CEO of Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation (YKIP), a SEA\LNG member company, was invited to serve as moderator for the Panel. Three other SEA\LNG members, Engie, Total, and Shell, also participated as panellists, together with representatives from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT).

At the beginning of the session, Morooka called for compliance with the 2020 global Sulphur CAP. In so doing, he compared the three options available today, which include using low sulphur Fuel oil, installing SOx scrubbers, and using LNG as marine fuel, noting that: “Currently, there are no other viable options such as LNG, that can reduce emissions effectively and thoroughly. LNG emits zero sulphur oxides (SOx), virtually zero particulate matter (PM), and 90% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) than traditional Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). It also effectively reduces CO2 emission, which is significant not only to the shipping industry, but also society as a whole.”

Morooka also pointed out: “Ports have to be ready for the coming energy transition. Vessels can’t compromise too much cargo space for fuel tank installation, so those ports who are in a key position for trunk line services, such as Yokohama and Singapore, should give priority to their development of LNG bunkering infrastructures, and that is what Yokohama has been endeavouring to achieve.”

In order to widen the network of LNG Bunkering ready ports in Japan, Europe, the US, as well as the rest of Asia, MLIT has been aggressively promoting international cooperation at administrational level, and signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with 11 port authorities of 10 countries. The MLIT initiated international cooperation keeps expanding through today.

The panel discussed several issues including the future demand and major challenges toward the energy transition. Morooka concluded the session by calling for Asia to play a bigger role to promote the energy transition.

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