Hong Kong studies LNG cruise ship bunkering possibility

2022-01-14T20:08:47+00:00 January 14th, 2022|Ports|

The results of a preliminary study on behalf of Worldwide Cruise Terminals (WCT) on LNG ship bunkering at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal were announced last month.

This study, conducted by Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore (BV), indicated that according to industry standards for safe operations adopted in other jurisdictions, it should be feasible to safely conduct ship-to-ship LNG bunkering simultaneously with passenger operations at the terminal.

Industry gas dispersal models and representative scenarios based on LNG fuelled cruise ships and LNG bunkering vessels currently in use and under construction were used for the study.

Jeff Bent, WCT Managing Director, said, “We are proud to support the Hong Kong government’s Clean Air 2035 and Climate Action 2050 plans, which indicate that the HKSAR government intends to pursue LNG bunkering for ocean going vessels as a means to greatly reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

“With this study, we established that the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is a suitable facility for ship-to-ship LNG bunkering to take place, simultaneously with standard passenger operations, for the rapidly growing number of LNG-powered cruise ships.

“Many leading ports have commenced LNG bunkering, and we look forward to joining their ranks. We stand by to assist regulators to craft detailed policies and procedures for an earlier commencement of the use of this fuel,” he said.

Huw Coffin, General Manager BV Solutions M&O (North Asia Zone) and lead researcher for the study, added; “The LNG industry has an excellent safety record, which thankfully is being replicated across the maritime industry with the increasing use of natural gas as a marine fuel.

“Switching to LNG from traditional fuel oil has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by around 20%, as well as the added benefit of reducing NOx emissions by up to 80% and being almost SOx and particulate matter free. LNG continues to be the most viable alternative fuel for the foreseeable future, which is reflected in the newbuilding order book with 30% of the tonnage in GT terms due to be installed with LNG capable engines. This includes 29 cruise ships equating to about 50% of the cruise ship capacity on order.

“The introduction of LNG bunkering in Hong Kong would support Hong Kong’s Clean Air Plan and also increase the attractiveness of the port by expanding bunkering services to the rapidly increasing LNG fuelled fleet,” he said.

Bent said that the next steps will include discussing the results of the study with relevant government departments and industry participants, to determine the best path forward for timely realisation of this aspect of Hong Kong’s clean air and carbon neutrality goals.