Singapore Enhances Energy Security with Added LNG Storage Capacity

Singapore will be constructing a fourth storage tank at its sole liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Jurong Island, in line with the city-state's aim to enhance its energy security by allowing further diversification of its fuel sources.

Speaking at the Gas Asia Summit (GAS), Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs & Trade and Industry S. Iswaran said that the tank – expected to start operations by 2017 – will boost the LNG terminal capacity to approximately nine million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

The first phase of the $1.7 billion LNG terminal development with two storage tanks is on track to start commercial operations in the second quarter of next year. A third storage tank is scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of next year.

The added storage, said Iswaran, could fuel business opportunities such as LNG trading, break-bulk services and LNG bunkering.

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said in a published statement on its website that Singapore is well-positioned to become Asia's LNG trading hub. With no significant LNG players five years ago, Singapore has managed to attract global LNG players to set up their operations locally. The city-state is at present home to 14 companies with LNG trading or marketing desks, including the likes of BG Group, BP, Gazpom and Shell.

In terms of providing break-bulk services, Singapore aims to position the terminal as a fully-functioning gateway to break down bulk LNG supplies and redistribute them to regional destinations that either cannot afford to build large LNG terminals or have port facilities too small to handle LNG tankers. The ability to provide break-bulk services is an attractive proposition to many LNG players as almost all of the 100 LNG terminals worldwide – with around 40 of them located in Asia – are used exclusively to export or import LNG.

Meanwhile, the option to offer LNG bunkering services is actively being explored by the Singapore government. The concept drawn up is for the terminal to offer LNG cargoes to ships fitted with hybrid LNG and oil-based fuel systems.

Interoil and Pacific LNG's Vice President Conrad Kerr said during an executive panel discussion at the GAS that he is very excited at the prospect of seeing bunkering services being developed for the LNG industry. He added that developing technology to refit ships with hybrid fuel systems and equip terminals with proper handling facilities will be the key that will kickstart the LNG bunkering industry.


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