EVOL LNG to bunker LNG at Fremantle Port in Australian first

Fremantle Port to become part of a growing global network of ports servicing LNG-fuelled ships.

In an Australian first, EVOL LNG has been approved by Fremantle Ports to bunker liquefied natural gas (LNG), providing access to the cleaner shipping fuel alternative for LNG-powered marine vessels visiting Fremantle Port.

It comes after Woodside announced in April that it had signed a five-year charter contract with Norwegian company Siem Offshore Australia Pty Ltd to deliver Australia’s first LNG-powered marine support vessel next year.

Since 2001, EVOL LNG has led the way in the safe handling of LNG in the Australian power generation, industrial and transportation markets. EVOL LNG is managed by Kleenheat, which is part of Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, a part of Wesfarmers Limited.

The availability of LNG as a bunker fuel, which will be delivered from EVOL LNG’s Kwinana LNG plant, will pave the way for LNG-fuelled ships to visit the port, and provide the option for local ferries and workboats to switch to the lower-cost, lower-emission fuel.

It will also see Fremantle Port become part of a growing global LNG bunkering network which includes major ports in Europe, North America, Qatar, Singapore, Japan and Korea as well as more than 40 other ports from around the world which bunker LNG, or have plans to do so.

EVOL LNG’s Business Manager, Nick Rea, said he was confident the global fleet of LNG-fuelled ships would continue to grow, and that EVOL LNG was well placed to support the growth.

“Our decision to provide LNG bunkering to the shipping industry is based on a long-term strategy,” Mr Rea said.

“Over the past decade, we’ve seen the number of LNG-fuelled ships in operation worldwide increase steadily from a handful to more than 70, with an additional 80 to be built in coming years.”

Mr Rea said that growth had largely been driven by the introduction of emission regulations, such as Emission Control Areas in Europe and North America, and the expectation of better returns than by operating on low-sulphur fuels or installing exhaust scrubber systems.

“LNG is a cleaner fuel than marine diesel, emitting 25 per cent less carbon dioxide, less nitrogen oxides, almost zero sulphur oxides, as well as fewer harmful particulates,” Mr Rea said.

“As emission reduction efforts continue to increase in importance, including in Australia, we expect the adoption of LNG as a low-emission marine fuel to increase.

“Apart from the environmental benefits, we expect to see a widening gap in the fuel price spread, as well as the cost of LNG-fuelled ships reducing as the technology matures. The business case for ship owners to invest in LNG-fuelled ships is becoming more and more compelling.

EVOL LNG will be able to supply its customers with LNG at a price that is competitive with low-sulphur marine diesel and will be able to refuel ships at up to 45 tonnes per hour of LNG, which is comparable to refuelling with traditional bunker fuels.

“We’re looking forward to working with Fremantle Ports and believe it is well-placed to support future LNG-fuelled workboats servicing Fremantle, the offshore oil and gas fields in the north west of WA, as well as itinerant LNG-fuelled vessels travelling between Australia and south-east Asia,” Mr Rea said.

“If interest is there, EVOL LNG will obtain licenses from other major Australian and regional WA ports to conduct LNG bunkering operations.

“It’s certainly an offering we’d like to expand, particularly as truck-to-ship LNG bunkering can be achieved without the need for new fixed infrastructure to be built.

“We have been operating in the LNG industry for more than a decade now, with an excellent safety record, and will apply this experience and knowledge to our bunkering operations.”