LNG terminal to fuel marine vessels
The LNG terminal of Petronet LNG Limited, located at Puthuvype here, is set to gain additional revenue by means of bunkering.
The terminal has successfully provided LNG to a marine vessel which berthed at the terminal a few days ago.
The procedure could be replicated, effectively adding to the capacity utilisation of the terminal. The LNG terminal is utilising less than 10 per cent of its capacity of 5 mmtpa (million metric tones per annum) now.
Modifications had been incorporated at the terminal to supply LNG to marine vessels, a top official of Petronet LNG Limited told The Hindu on Friday.
The bunkering operation is the first of its kind in the country and the Asian region, according to him.
It could be a potential revenue-earning mode for the terminal and the government by way of VAT, he said.
Usage of LNG, wholly or partly as a fuel in marine vessels ranging from tankers, bulk and general cargo vessels, container ships, ferries, and offshore support vessels, has been in vogue.
The use of LNG would result in lower emissions as natural gas is considered the cleanest fuel available.
100 LNG-powered ships
“There are about 100 LNG-powered ships and 400-odd carriers worldwide running either fully or partly on LNG as a fuel. Reduced cost of LNG, compared to other fuels, and higher energy utilisation of the fuel help vessels save operating costs as well,” the Petronet official said.
The vessel, KVITBJORN, was berthed at Petronet’s LNG terminal a few days ago during its maiden voyage from China to Europe.
Since LNG bunkering was being carried out for the first time by Petronet, some technical modifications were quickly carried out at the jetty and loading systems.
The vessel was loaded with about 130 tonnes of LNG successfully at competitive rates, he said.
Petronet is now optimistic that its Kochi LNG terminal can cater to about 40-50 vessels in a year without affecting the regular unloading /reloading of routine LNG vessels, thus providing an additional stream of revenue to the Cochin Port and to the government of Kerala by way of VAT.
The bunkering operation can be continued even when the terminal is operated at full capacity on successful completion of the pipelines in the future, according to the official.