Korean government launches plan to develop LNG-powered vessels

Korean government launches plan to develop LNG-powered vessels

The Ministry of Oceans & Fisheries and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy had a meeting on November 16 and released a plan to promote the development and use of LNG-powered ships. This is a part of the plan to strengthen shipping and shipbuilding industries announced October 31. It also has to do with the International Maritime Organization’s recent resolution to lower the content of sulfur oxide in fuel oil for ships to 0.5% or less in 2020. At present, the maximum allowable content is 3.5%.

In the maritime transport industry, the South Korean government is planning to assist in the introduction of LNG-fueled ships in various ways such as pilot projects, port charges reduction, tax incentives and multiple government-run funds. The government is going to help shipbuilders enhance their capabilities to build LNG-fueled vessels as well by means of national R&D projects, technical standardization, engineering training, performance evaluation system establishment, etc., reported Business Korea.

In the port sector, the government is to focus on infrastructure expansion in order to facilitate the use of South Korean ports by LNG-powered ships. It is going to provide an LNG bunkering service by making use of existing facilities before setting up new bunkering facilities at the ports located in Busan and Ulsan. It is also planning on closer cooperation with the IMO and major ports such as Singapore and Rotterdam.

South Korean shipbuilders and shipping companies are welcoming the news. “South Korean shipbuilders currently have the most advanced technology with regard to the building of LNG carriers and LNG-fueled ships and, as such, the government’s support is likely to result in another significant leap forward,” one of the shipbuilders said. “LNG ships will become prevalent over time in view of fuel efficiency and environmental pollution and the government’s support is more than essential in the long term,” said the Korea Shipowners’ Association.


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