Port of Fujairah plans LNG ship-to-ship transfers, new infrastructure
The Port of Fujairah is gearing up for its next phase of growth, as it seeks to retain its position as the world’s second-largest bunkering port by by strengthening infrastructure and introducing LNG ship-to-ship transfers, trading and operations, Port of Fujairah General Manager Mousa Murad told S&P Global Platts in an e-mail.
“We are working on regulations, safety procedures and towage for this [LNG ship-to-ship transfer] operation,” he said in an e-mail on Thursday.
“As far as energy to the country is concerned, we will liaise with Emirates LNG … second option is that we will liaise with private players for LNG trading and bunkering activities,” said Murad, without elaborating further.
His comments come at a time when LNG is becoming a key alternative for shippers to comply with the 2020 global sulfur cap.
Most LNG variants have no detectable sulfur, and emission of particles and nitrogen oxide by LNG-fueled vessels are considerably lower than that of vessels using other marine fuels.
LNG bunkering is expected to rise from 0.5 million mt/year in 2016 to as high as 16 million mt/year by 2025, Wood Mackenzie’s research director for Asia refining, Sushant Gupta, had said at a media briefing in Singapore in February.
The port is also strengthening its infrastructure. Key expansion planned for this year are the addition of new bunker barge jetties 3A and 3B, with a maximum length overall of 120 meters and depth of Fujairah Harbour Datum of minus 15 meters. The two jetties are scheduled to be completed by end-2017, Murad said.
The Fujairah port is the only multi-purpose port on the eastern seaboard of the United Arab Emirates and is located approximately 70 nautical miles from the Straits of Hormuz.
Industry estimates put marine fuel sales in Fujairah at around 12 million-15 million mt in 2016. The port authorities do not provide any official data.
According to data provided by the port at the 10th International Fujairah Bunkering & Fuel Oil Forum, or FUJCON 2017, Fujairah had some 14,942 vessels call at its port for various purposes, including bunkering, in 2016. The port has come a long way since the year 2000, when only 4,830 vessels called at its port, the data showed.
Other marine services offered at the Port of Fujairah include ship supplies, ship repair, spare repair, spare parts and inspection.
A fleet of 80 independently owned and professionally operated supply vessels are based in the Port of Fujairah Anchorage, according to the port’s website.