The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore has established a SGD12 million (USD8.4 million) fund to promote the building of LNG-powered ships.
Currently the world’s biggest bunkering port by sales volumes, Singapore hopes to offer LNG bunkering by 2020 and is planning a pilot run from 2017.
The money will come from the MPA’s Maritime Innovation & Technology Fund, which will provide funding of up to SGD2 million per vessel, capped at two successful funding applications per company.
Companies keen to tap into the fund must be incorporated in Singapore and the funded vessels must be Singapore-flagged or licensed to trade in Singapore for at least five years.
MPA has invited interested parties to apply for an LNG bunkering licence and IHS Maritime understands some oil majors have applied.
Other bunker traders and suppliers are, however, lukewarm to LNG bunkering, as they do not see any business potential due to the lack of infrastructure in Asia and the region’s higher LNG prices.