Skangas announced that it completed 1,000 LNG bunkering operations in 2017, representing more than 60% increase over previous years. According to the company, the driving force behind this rise rests in supply to new vessels both in regular routes and in tramp/spot market. The market has been waiting for the LNG bunkering vessels, which is the practice of delivering LNG to ships to use as fuel.
“As more and more operators convert their ships to clean fuel with LNG and dual-fueled engines to power them, demand has risen significantly,” said Gunnar Helmen, Sales Manager – Marine for Skangas. “This is particularly true in European waters where, until recently, most of the traffic consisted of ferries and RoPax cruise ferries routinely traveling set routes. Today, the supply pattern is more diverse due to the use of a greater variety of vessels that require different types of bunkering solutions. And we are responding directly by offering a number of solutions for this market.”
Anticipating the marine market’s desire to convert to cleaner fuels, Skangas has made a concerted effort to make LNG more accessible. In addition to expanding infrastructure and improving bunkering techniques, the company put its new customized bunker-feeder vessel Coralius into operation in 2017. The Coralius, which delivers LNG through ship-to-ship bunkering at sea, has improved the company’s ability to be more flexible to vessels that require LNG without visiting a terminal or port.
During 2017, the 1,000 LNG bunkering operations were carried out as follows: truck-to-ship in port 60%, terminal-to-ship 38% (including the Skangas LNG production facility), and ship-to-ship in port or at sea 2%.
As responsible marine transport and shipping companies seek cleaner fuel alternatives to power their fleets, Skangas expects demand for LNG by the marine market to increase significantly during the coming years. “Clearly, 2018 is set to be another exciting year for Skangas, as we continue to provide readily accessible LNG to industries that operate at sea and onshore throughout the Nordics,” added Helmen.