Singapore welcomes small-scale LNG carriers

Singapore LNG Terminal. Singapore LNG Corporation
Singapore LNG Terminal. Singapore LNG Corporation

Singapore has modified its liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal to accommodate small LNG carriers.

Singapore LNG Corporation (SLNG), which runs the terminal on Jurong Island, said that the secondary jetty on the facility can now welcome ships of between 2,000 and 10,000 m3 in capacity.

Such vessels are a typical feature of small-scale LNG, a concept involving the transportation of LNG from smaller production sources where conventional, larger ships are not feasible. Small-scale LNG will also work if lesser amounts of LNG cargoes need to be moved, for example for the delivery of LNG bunkers. 

SLNG said that the modifications to the terminal, completed on 13 February 2019, included the installation of a new marine loading arm and gangway, and new facilities for securing small LNG ships at the jetty. The terminal operator said that the modified facility will help spur the development of the small-scale LNG market, such as transporting LNG to isolated power plants in remote areas in the region.

SLNG’s interim CEO and vice-president (commercial) Sandeep Mahawar said: “We believe that there is good potential for the small-scale LNG market to flourish in this part of the world, and the timely completion of the small-scale LNG Facility is an important step forward in SLNG’s efforts to support this growth. It also serves to promote the development of LNG bunkering in Singapore, which is another potential growth area given Singapore’s already well-established reputation as the top bunkering port in the world.”

As demand builds, SLNG may consider installing topsides at its tertiary jetty to accommodate more small-scale LNG reloads, said Sandeep.

Ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s move to further limit emissions come 2020, Singapore and several other countries have introduced LNG bunkering as a solution. The SLNG terminal’s secondary jetty was originally designed to accommodate LNG ships with capacities of 60,000 to 265,000 m3. In June 2017, SLNG successfully performed a cool-down and reloading operation for an LNG bunker vessel, Cardissa. Following on that success, and to better support small-scale LNG and LNG bunkering, SLNG decided to modify its secondary jetty so that even smaller LNG ships could reload at the terminal.