Korea Line LNG's bunkering vessel sets sail
Korea Line LNG announced Monday it set sail bunkering vessel K.Lotus, the biggest vessel of its kind in the world.
The shipping company, wholly owned by Korea Line, announced Monday that its liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel is traveling to a bunkering hub in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The vessel is chartered by London-based energy company Shell for seven years and will supply LNG fuel from ship to ship, meaning the K.Lotus will fuel other vessels while they are both at sea. Refueling will be done near various European ports.
K.Lotus is owned by joint venture KLBV1, 60 percent owned by Korea Line LNG and 40 percent by Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas). The shipping company is in charge of the managing and maintenance of ships and Kogas will run the joint venture.
The vessel is 18,000 cubic meters (635,700 cubic feet), which the company claims is the biggest LNG bunkering vessel in the world.
Demand for LNG bunkering is expected to rise as many companies switch to greener fuel options. According to the Korea Energy Economics Institute, LNG bunker demand will grow to 700,000 tons by 2025 and 1.36 million tons by 2030.
Korea Line LNG plans to add five more LNG ships and bunkering vessels by the end of 2023, to manage a total of 18 LNG vessels.
When the deal with Shell expires, the shipping company has plans to use the vessel to bunker ships in local waters.
“We are working with our affiliates such as Korea Line, SM Line, Korea Shipping and KLCSM to broaden our business portfolio,” said Korea Line LNG CEO Kim Man-tae, referring to affiliates of the parent of Korea Line, SM Group. “We plan to become a leader in the local and global LNG bunkering industry, starting with the joint venture investment with Kogas.”
BY LEE TAE-HEE [email@example.com]