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Keppel O&M wins order from Sinanju for Singapore's first LNG-powered bunker tanker

LICENSED marine fuel supplier Sinanju Tankers Holdings has placed a newbuild order through a project partner with a unit of Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M) for Singapore's first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered dual-fuel bunker tanker.

The order, valued at over US$10 million by industry estimates, is for a 7,990-deadweight tonne tanker that is scheduled for delivery from Keppel Singmarine in the second half of 2019. The bunker tanker is the first of its kind to be flagged and built in Singapore that will run on an LNG dual-fuel engine.

Sinanju confirmed the order with Keppel Singmarine through its partner and co-financier of the project, Mitsui & Co. (Asia Pacific), the Singapore subsidiary of Japan-based trading and investment firm, Mitsui & Co. The co-partners in this newbuilding project has an option with Keppel Singmarine for a second similar vessel. This option is to be exercised within six months from the effective date of the first newbuild contract.

Sinanju has tapped a grant of up to S$2 million per ship from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to part-finance the newbuild cost.

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Abu Bakar, managing director (gas & specialised vessels), Keppel O&M, said, "The dual-fuel bunker tanker will be the third vessel to be built by Keppel Singmarine under the MPA LBPP and the seventh dual fuel vessel built by Keppel O&M, extending our track record in LNG-fuelled vessels."

Keppel Singmarine has earlier secured two LNG-powered dual-fuel tugs orders from Keppel SMIT Towage and Maju Maritime. Keppel SMIT and Maju Maritime are also recipients of MPA LBPP, meaning the two tugs will qualify for grants of up to S$2 million per ship to defray their newbuilding costs.

Mitsui AP's CEO, Taku Morimoto, said of the Japanese's trading company's role as a financier of this project: "Singapore as the world's largest bunkering hub is initiating to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by boosting the use of LNG as a marine fuel, and we, as a company which has been serving the LNG industry for decades, would like to contribute further to Singapore's green initiative."