- As First LNG Bunkering Carried Out in the UK
The Liberian-flagged tanker Alnic MC, which was involved in a collision with US Navy’s ship USS John S. McCain on August 21, is currently discharging its cargo of 12,000 MT of fuel oil.
The ship’s manager Stealth Maritime Corporation said the cargo discharge was cleared by Singaporean authorities.
“Once the discharge is completed Alnic MC will proceed to a Singaporean anchorage to undergo further assessment and repair. The crew will continue to operate and maintain the vessel during this process,” the company said in an update.
The tanker’s manager informed earlier that its ship sustained a gash to the starboard side of the bow above the waterline. There were no injuries to crew and no reported pollution of the Singapore Strait.
The Alnic MC was transiting from Mai Liao in Taiwan to Singapore with a partial load of 12,000MT of fuel oil at the time of the incident, the company explained.
“Stealth Maritime Corporation is continuing to cooperate fully with all of the relevant authorities in their investigations into the collision,” the latest update further reads.
In the meantime, for the first time in the UK, a ship has been bunkered with liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is part of a project carried out between UK’s LNG provider Flogas and compatriot port operator Associated British Ports (ABP).
The project, which mirrors similar successful schemes in other European countries, saw a 110-meter cement carrier named Ireland – operated by Norwegian shipping firm KGJ Cement AS – refueled with LNG at the Port of Immingham on August 16.
The joint venture between Flogas and ABP is said to be a step forward for maritime bunkering in the UK. It means ships from across the globe will now have direct access to LNG – a fuel that is becoming increasingly popular in shipping, due to its ability to help vessels comply with current and future climate legislation.
“There is great potential for LNG in the maritime industry as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional oil-based bunker fuels, but until now this potential has remained untapped here in the UK,” Lee Gannon, Managing Director at Flogas, explained.
Although only a limited number of ships currently bunker with LNG, demand is expected to grow rapidly as environmental regulations increasingly prohibit the use of polluting heavy fuel oils. Both Flogas and ABP see potential to replace thousands of tons of heavy fuel oil each year with cleaner, cost-effective LNG.
“We are proud to be a key part of this flagship operation, which has really put the UK on the map as the latest European hub for more climate-friendly bunkering. Demand is already beginning to shift away from oil across the international fleet, and we very much see natural gas taking its place as the marine fuel of choice. We look forward to welcoming increasing numbers of ships to Immingham as a result of our new … offering in partnership with Flogas,” Mark Frith, Port Manager for ABP Immingham and Grimsby, added.
The new tanker-to-ship service provides the flexibility needed to service current demand, but as the LNG marine market grows, Flogas plans to invest in storage and bunkering facilities at ABP ports when required.
World Maritime News