MoU signed to develop LPG bunkering hub in South Korea

Project includes the development of infrastructure for ship-to-ship refuelling.

Flag of South Korea. Image credit: File image / Pixabay

Updated on 30 Jan 2018 10:27 GMT

Korea LPG Association has announced that on January 25 it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement to develop what it describes as 'the world's first LPG bunkering hub', with a newbuild LPG-fuelled car ferry set to be the first vessel to use the new service next year.

The participating companies in the project are gas turbine engine developer GE, LPG ship project manager Hyun-Seong MCT, vessel operator Youngsung Global, ship design firm Far East Ship Design & Engineering, vessel management company Dintec, fuel gas supply system provider Answer, shipyard Yuil and classification society Bureau Veritas.

The aim of the project is to develop a key LPG bunkering location with related infrastructure for ship-to-ship refuelling.

The design of an LPG-fuelled coastal car ferry that would travel between local ports in South Korea and along routes to China or Japan has been completed and already received an approval in principle (AIP).

The ship's route is set to be confirmed within the next few weeks, and the shipbuilding contract is due to be signed during the first quarter of 2018, with the vessel expected to begin operating next year.

Bunker Index reported in November that Japanese LPG vessel operator, trader, importer and distributor Astomos Energy Corporation and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) had signed an MoU to further study the use of LPG as a bunker fuel.

Also last year, Astomos inked separate MoUs with Australian LPG marketer Elgas and Norwegian energy firm Statoil to look into working together on LPG bunkering projects.

Elsewhere, LPG transportation specialist and very large gas carrier (VLGC) owner/operator Dorian LPG has been conducting a feasibility study with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to evaluate the use of LPG as a marine fuel.