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    West Oz Plans LNG Bunkering Hub at Pilbara


Last week, Pilbara Port Authority (PPA) granted a ship-to-ship LNG bunkering licence to Woodside.

by: Shardul Sharma

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West Oz Plans LNG Bunkering Hub at Pilbara

The Western Australian government is looking to establish an LNG fuelling hub for bulk vessels in the Pilbara, it said on May 9 in a statement.

The government said it will offer a 50% discount in port dues to bulk vessels bunkering with LNG at Pilbara ports - saving each vessel around A$20,000 (US$13,100). The discount comes into effect on July 1, 2020 and will remain in place for five years. If taken up, the discounts could be worth up to A$5.3mn by 2025, the government said.

"The Pilbara is already globally renowned as an LNG production powerhouse, and my government is taking steps to turn the Pilbara into an international LNG fuelling hub,” premier Mark McGowan said. "A Pilbara LNG bunkering hub could create more than 100 long-term jobs in the Pilbara, while supporting global efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the shipping industry."

Last week, Pilbara Port Authority (PPA) granted a ship-to-ship LNG bunkering licence to Woodside, which is finalising plans for an LNG bunkering operation in the Pilbara to capture the environmental and economic benefits of using LNG, instead of fuel oil, for the iron ore shipping trade. In addition to Woodside’s ship-to-ship licences, a truck-to-ship LNG bunkering licence was issued to Evol LNG in early 2017.

International Maritime Organisation regulations require trading vessels to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and the international shipping industry is turning to LNG as a transition fuel as it works towards clean hydrogen and other carbon-free fuels.

The Western Australian government believes transitioning iron ore exports shipped from the Pilbara from heavy fuel oil vessels to LNG fuelled vessels could reduce carbon emissions by up to 6mn metric tons/year.

The government said it is also driving opportunities in green hydrogen in the Pilbara through the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, creating future opportunities for carbon-free fuel in the region.