An international memorandum of understanding has been signed for the bunkering of liquefied natural gas at a number of major international ports, both in Europe and in Asia. The document was signed by the port authorities of the Netherlands, Norway, the USA, Japan and Singapore during the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition (SIBCON). The port of Rotterdam, for example, already has three sites for storing LNG and plans to develop more next year. The situation of other ports is largely the same, with Singapore having worked for months already to develop its own potential for exporting and processing LNG.
The purpose of the MoU is to harmonize the bunkering system internationally, creating a global network capable of managing stocks and resupplies, with coordinated bunkering procedures. In particular, the MoU lays out the main guidelines contained in the documentation of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF). In the words of Olav Akselsen, a representative of Norway’s Maritime Authority, common international standards are “essential and educative for a sustainable LNG fuel safety culture."
Moreover, LNG continues to gain ground as a fuel suited to the low-emissions policies implemented by countries that signed the COP21 Paris climate agreement.