Plans Underway to Build International LNG Bunkering Hub in the Pilbara

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord

The Western Australian McGowan Government is leading a push to establish an LNG bunkering hub for bulkers visiting the Pilbara region.

Building on the Pilbara’s strength as a global LNG production hub, the Government will offer a 50 percent discount in port dues to bulk vessels bunkering with LNG at Pilbara ports – saving each vessel around $20,000. The discount comes into effect on July 1, 2020 and will remain in place for five years. If taken up, the discounts could be worth up to $5.3 million by 2025.

Transitioning iron ore exports shipped from the Pilbara from heavy fuel oil vessels to LNG fuelled vessels could reduce carbon emissions by up to six million tonnes per annum.

To help kick-start the shift to LNG fuelling in the Pilbara, the Pilbara Ports Authority has issued Australia’s first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering licenses to Woodside Energy at Port Hedland and Dampier.

The Government is also pushing opportunities in green hydrogen in the Pilbara through the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, creating future opportunities for carbon-free fuel in the region.

Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan said: “Major resources companies have already tendered for LNG-fuelled bulk vessels to carry iron ore from the Pilbara, and are beginning negotiations about where to bunker those ships. We’ve moved quickly to capitalize on this opportunity before our competitors in South East Asia claim the mantle.”