By 2023, the global LNG bunkering fleet will be five times as large as it was in 2018, reaching 50 vessels, underpinning the uptake of LNG as a fuel by international shipping.
One of the latest additions to the fleet will be FueLNG Bellina, a 7,500 m3 capacity LNG bunkering vessel for Singapore, the country’s first. Named at a ceremony in Singapore, FueLNG Bellina is owned by FueLNG, a joint venture between Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd and Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd. Expected to be operational by year’s end, FueLNG Bellina will be the first to provide regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services within the Singapore port. FueLNG will also provide LNG bunkering from Singapore’s first dedicated LNG bunkering facility, which will be built by Keppel O&M on its Floating Living Lab (FLL), with Shell supplying the LNG to the 3,500-m3 capacity facility when it becomes operational Q4 2021.
Designed by Keppel O&M and built by the Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China, FueLNG Bellina will be highly manoeuvrable, facilitated by two stern azimuth thrusters and one bow thruster. The vessel’s thrusters will allow for ‘crabbing manoeuvres’ during bunkering operations, minimising tug utilisation and in turn reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
With a filling rate of between 100 and 1,000 m3 of LNG per hour, the LNG bunker vessel will be able to refuel various types of vessels at heights ranging from 3 m to 23 m above the water level. This is critical to allow it to fuel a wide range of LNG-fuelled vessels in one of the world’s busiest bunkering hubs.
With dual-fuel propulsion, FueLNG Bellina will also utilise boil-off gas (BOG) as fuel for power generation and propulsion, reducing CO2, particulate matter and NOx emissions.
First smart LNG bunker vessel
Adding to its credentials, FueLNG Bellina will be the first ‘smart’ LNG bunkering vessel, equipped with a digital platform to monitor and executive the entire bunkering process. Keppel O&M reported that the Singapore-flagged FueLNG Bellina is the world’s first bunkering vessel with Smart Notation; it is equipped with Keppel O&M’s proprietary VesselCare solutions, a remote vessel monitoring and analytics platform for condition-based maintenance and real-time support of vessel operations.
Commenting on the naming ceremony, Singapore Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chee Hong Tat, said: “This occasion marks an important milestone in Singapore’s journey to achieve the IMO 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target. It is our next step towards regular ship-to-ship LNG bunkering activities in Singapore. As we progress towards a low-carbon future, we will intensify our efforts to develop the Port of Singapore into a global LNG bunkering hub.”
Keppel O&M chief executive and FueLNG chairman Chris Ong, added: “Building Singapore’s first LNG bunkering vessel and having a dedicated bunkering facility demonstrates our commitment to global customers that LNG as a marine fuel will be readily available in Singapore.”
With the FueLNG Bellina and dedicated bunkering facility at the FLL in the Keppel O&M shipyard, FueLNG will be able to provide ship-to-ship bunkering for LNG-powered containerships, tankers, or other large ships, and bunker smaller vessels such as tugs and other harbour craft.
FueLNG Bellina supports initiatives implemented by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to increase the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel, facilitating the growth of Singapore as a global LNG bunkering hub.
When operational, the vessel’s first contracts will be to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering to Shell-chartered tankers and for one of Hapag Lloyd’s container vessels.
Hapag Lloyd senior director global fuel purchasing Jan Christensen, said: “We are looking to reduce our carbon emissions and LNG propulsion in our ships is one of the key contributors. Singapore is a significant port of call and we are pleased that there will be the necessary infrastructure provided by FueLNG for us to bunker our LNG-powered vessels.”
FueLNG director and Shell head of downstream LNG Tahir Faruqui, said: “Singapore is an important country for Shell and it will be a key region of the world for our downstream LNG business. LNG will play a critical role in the journey towards zero-emission fuels while zero and low-carbon fuels are being developed. It is the cleanest fuel currently available to the shipping sector in meaningful volumes.”