Newcastle LNG Project to Provide Bunkering
South Korea's Epik has opted to provide LNG bunkering services at its Newcastle GasDock LNG project in New South Wales (NSW), it said on November 11.
"Given the Port of Newcastle's considerable industrial marine traffic and proximity to Sydney, our project provides an ideal platform to add LNG bunkering operations," Epik's managing director Jee Yoon said in a statement.
Newcastle welcomes some 2,000 ships each year and would become the first bunkering site on Australia's east coast. Driving LNG bunkering demand is the cruise industry, Epik said, estimating that the Sydney Harbour cruise sector, with over 300 annual cruise ship port calls, could need over 250,000 metric tons of LNG/year in the coming years. Bulk carriers also make up a large share of traffic at Newcastle.
Epik pointed to LNG's advantages over more conventional fuels in terms of cost and environmental impact.
The company plans to build a 170,000 m³ floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) capable of covering over 80% of gas demand in NSW – a project earmarked to cost $400-430mn. In April last year it recruited Australia’s Watpac to design, engineer and construct the onshore infrastructure. It also hopes to leverage its strategic pact with South Korea’s Hyundai LNG Shipping to help realise the venture.
The project was listed as "critical state significant infrastructure" by the NSW government in August, which should help with the permitting process.