A 60% rise in LNG bunkering operations in 2017 is not a fluke, according to a report from Skangas.
The group said it has seen the growth in demand carry into 2018 and expects the trend to continue.
“Clearly, 2018 is set to be another exciting year,” said Skangas sales manager Gunnar Helmen. “Already, the number of bunkering operations we’ve executed for the marine market is higher than in Q1 2017.”
The Norwegian group said an increase in new vessels plying regular routes as well as diversity in the types of newbuilds using LNG pushed it to complete 1,000 LNG bunkering operations in 2017.
Skangas’ figures showed a nearly 60-40 split between truck-to-ship bunkering operations and terminal-to-ship operations. Ship-to-ship bunkering operations either in port or at sea made up just 2% of the total.
In spite of the low ship-to-ship numbers, the company invested in a new customised bunker-feeder vessel Coralius, which began its LNG bunkering at sea operations in 2017.
Anticipating an uptake in LNG demand, the company said it has also expanded its infrastructure, including its network of terminals, its production facility near Stavanger, Norway, and increased its truck-to-ship bunkering at seaports throughout the Nordics.
Mr Helmen said “Until recently, most of the traffic consisted of ferries and ropax cruise ferries routinely travelling set routes. Today, the supply pattern is more diverse due to the use of a greater variety of vessels, that require different types of bunkering solutions. And we are responding directly by offering a number of solutions for this market.”