Korea plans to build LNG bunkering terminals... and most of the world's dual-fuel tankers

Government intends to build LNG bunkering facilities at key ports and to win 70 percent of global orders for dual-fuel tankers over the next 10 years.

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Updated on 15 Jul 2015 14:37 GMT

South Korea intends to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering terminals at some of its key ports, and to win 70 percent of worldwide orders for dual-fuel tankers over the next 10 years, Reuters reports.

In a statement today (July 15), the country's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said it expected the market for manufacturing LNG-powered vessels and retrofitting existing ships for the use of LNG to skyrocket from its current value of 6 trillion South Korean won ($5.2 billion) to a value of almost 150 trillion won ($130 billion) by 2025.

Demand for LNG-fuelled ships and the infrastructure to support LNG bunkering is expected to grow over the next few years with stricter regulations on fuel sulphur content and greenhouse gas emissions leading to increased interest in alternative fuels such as LNG.

"From a long-term perspective, we will build LNG bunkering terminals at the country's major ports where large vessels arrive and depart," the ministry said.

By 2017, the South Korean government intends to add an LNG bunkering terminal to a public gas terminal in the coastal city of Tongyeong, located in the southern tip of Goseong peninsula in South Gyeongsang Province. Similar facilities in Gwangyang, Boryeong and Incheon are also planned for the future.

South Korea is the world's leading shipbuilding nation. The top three vessel constructors - Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd, Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd - are all South Korean firms.

The Asian country is also the world's second-largest LNG importer after Japan. In 2014, Asia imported a record 182 million metric tonnes of LNG, with Japan accounting for 89 million metric tonnes, South Korea receiving 38 million metric tonnes, China bringing in 20 million tonnes and India 15 importing million tonnes.

As a result of the high LNG import volumes, South Korea also plans to start running bunkering shuttles from ships carrying LNG to those that need it as fuel in 2018, the MOTIE said.