Clean energy is treading toward becoming the sine qua non for survival in the modern world. On these grounds, LNG bunkering market is slated to experience a positive growth rate over the coming years. The governmental bodies across the globe have been implementing stringent norms to curb GHG emissions and contribute toward a clean environment, which will heavily impact global LNG bunkering industry size. These bunkers are being heavily adopted across numerous end-use sectors, pertaining to their ability to reduce carbon emissions by at least 20% to 25%.
As per a recent news snippet, the Caribbean is one of the most lucrative regions for LNG bunkering market, as the shipping sector seeks compliance with the latest global emission limit for marine fuels that is slated to be effective in the year 2020. According to the CEO of Ventrin Petroleum Company Ltd., the renowned Trinidad and Tobago-based oil & gas firm, Trinidad will be a major producer of LNG in the next few years. In addition, the usage of LNG in the Caribbean is likely to reduce the cost of utility generation by 15% to 31%, which will lead to more investments in LNG infrastructure, thereby propelling the regional LNG bunkering market.
U.S. LNG Bunkering Market Size, By Product, 2016 & 2024 (USD Million)
The process of bunkering basically entails refueling marine vessels and is carried out via direct ship or truck transfer or via pipelines that are connected to a terminal. Easy transferability and storage of LNG is likely to increase the adoption of these products, since natural gas liquified at 160 Degree Celsius can be easily shipped and stored. In order to reduce the emissions of Sulphur and nitrous oxides and prevent marine pollution, regulatory bodies such as MARPOL and IMO have deployed stringent norms, which will fuel LNG bunkering market. As per Global Market Insights, Inc., this industry size is slated to cross 18,500 kilotons in terms of volume and USD 12 billion in terms of revenue by 2024, driven by technological innovations in shipbuilding to improve fuel efficiency, increase safety, and reduce maintenance.
Shale gas exploration activities are currently on a rise across the globe, especially in the United States. In 2016, shale gas production in the U.S. reached to 15,213 bcf from a volume of 13,447 bcf in 2015. Rising demand for eco-friendly and cost-efficient marine fuels will lead to an increase in the product demand thereby complementing the expansion of LNG bunkering market. Pertaining to the current scale of shale gas exploration activities and the regulations deployed by the U.S. Coast Guard related to ship building with gas-fueled engines, U.S. LNG bunkering industry size was worth over USD 100 million in 2016.
The U.S. EPA, in 2015, had implemented the TIER III norms under the MARPOL annexure VI to reduce nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions from ships across the ECAs (Emission Control Areas), which will lead U.S. LNG bunkering market to surpass a volume of 3,000 kilo tons by 2024.
Truck-to-ship, portable tanks, ship-to-ship, and port-to-ship are the major products of LNG bunkering industry. Ship-to-ship LNG bunkering market is anticipated to observe a CAGR of more than 60% over 2017-2024 pertaining to its quick transfer operation and high capacity of 700 - 7500 tons Furthermore, it provides the feasibility of allowing simultaneous bunkering operation and cargo movement.
LNG bunkers find applications in cruise-ships, bulk carriers, offshore support vessels, container vessels, and ferries. Roll-on roll-off car carriers, cruise-ships, and ferries are categorized under the term ‘RO-Pax’. Pertaining to high fuel consumption, Ro-Pax LNG bunkering industry is slated to observe a steep growth rate over 2017-2024. Driven by strict environmental regulations and a positive outlook toward international trade, LNG bunkering market from bulk carriers & container vessels will witness an enormous boost, especially across the Asia Pacific belt.
Recently, Singapore has been observing an appreciable increase in the growth of LNG bunkering market. In fact, the Singapore LNG Corporation has just carried out its first small scale LNG gas-up & reload operation at its 40-hectare plot in the south Jurong Island, thereby strengthening its LNG infrastructure. This operation was performed for the LNG bunker vessel called Cardissa, of capacity 6,500 cubic meters, owned by the Shell Corporation and simultaneously funded the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility. Through this move, SLNG has strengthened its regional LNG bunkering industry and has also expanded its operations in northwest Europe.
The Ministry of Port Authority of Singapore has recently declared an investment of USD 1.45 million for six ships vessels under pilot program. Thus, rising number of investments toward infrastructure development coupled with strict government regulations will positively influence Singapore LNG bunkering market.
LNG bunker products are extensively used in offshore support vessels. In 2016, OSVs held more than 25% of LNG bunkering industry share and are slated to grow over the next seven years. Rising number of exploration and production of hydrocarbons and strict norms pertaining to carbon emissions will contribute toward the growth of LNG bunkering market.
Shell Corporation, in 2012, had announced an investment of USD 12.6 billion in an FLNG project in Australia, which is anticipated to begin in 2018. Rising investments in FLNG projects, thus, will positively impact LNG bunkering industry over 2017-2024.
LNG bunkering market is fairly fragmented, including the participation of numerous biggies and SMBs. Key participants include Bomin Linde, Harvey Gulf, Korea Gas Corporation, Skangas, ENN Energy, Gasum, Prima LNG, Royal Dutch Shell, Evol, Crowley Maritime, Enagas Swedegas, Engie, Polskie, and Fjord Line.
Growing concerns related to environmental safety will propel the adoption of natural gas as a reliable ship fuel, which will eventually drive LNG bunkering industry. The EU has also introduced the Climate and Energy Package 2020 to achieve a significant reduction of 20% in GHG emissions. In 2014, the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) had declared an investment of USD 138 million toward developing the seven bunkering stations in Western Europe. These initiatives will spur Europe LNG bunkering market over the coming years.
Container vessels are one of the key end-use areas of LNG bunkering industry and are slated to grow at a rate of 40% over 2017-2024. Speaking of which, Germany LNG bunkering market from container vessels will grow markedly over the coming timeframe, pertaining to the fact that this region holds the largest container base in Europe.
Norway dominated Europe LNG bunkering industry with a record of more than 18,000 bunkering operations. Rising focus toward environmental safety and a radical shift toward sustainability will propel the regional growth. The region is also witnessing a slew of investments in various projects aimed at upgrading the LNG infrastructure. For instance, the EU, in 2014, had planned to invest around USD 85.44 million to construct the GATE terminal in Rotterdam for foreign ships to have easy access to access to gas. The same years witnessed Skangas acquiring the Risavika plant in Norway to avail LNG for bunkering operations.
Rapidly shifting trends toward environment-friendly and cost-effective marine fuel will primarily drive LNG bunkering market. For instance, the LNGe-380 is relatively cheaper than the IFO-380 fuel. This will help companies recover the costs of retrofitting fleets, which will fuel LNG bunkering market. In addition, this market will be augmented by numerous mergers and acquisitions and strict government regulations. With more and more companies and regulatory organizations willing to make substantial investments in the shipping sector to promote international trade, LNG bunkering industry is certain to depict a positive growth graph over the years ahead.