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S. Korea to place first order for LNG-powered vessels by Aug.

2018/05/17 07:00

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SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will place the first order for vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) by August to support more green shipping and develop associated industries, the oceans ministry said Thursday.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said it is considering orders for two 200,000-ton class bulk carriers, which would sail between South Korea and Australia.

The government has been seeking to develop the emerging marine transport sector to comply with the International Maritime Organization's sulfur cap on bunkers, set to be enforced in 2020.

LNG-powered ships are considered an eco-friendly option to meet strengthened regulations, but high costs have posed challenges to private shippers.

The ministry said it will also begin a test program to replace towing vessels, which use Bunker C or diesel, with LNG-powered ships and expand incentives and subsidies for eco-friendly ships.

To improve the infrastructure, the ministry said it plans to establish bunkering facilities in major ports in Busan and Ulsan and to build a shipping facility at the LNG terminal in Tongyeong on the southwestern coast.

South Korean shipyards have outstanding expertise in building LNG carriers and bunkering shuttles, but they are still in the early stages when it comes to LNG-powered ships and related bunkering infrastructure. Only one LNG-propelled vessel is operated in the country.

This file photo shows a LNG-powered bulk carrier built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. (Yonhap) This file photo shows a LNG-powered bulk carrier built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr

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