Petronas LNG has carried out its first ship-to-ship (STS) breakbulk transfer of LNG. The operation, which took place in Brunei Bay, involved a transshipment from the 157,000 m3 Seri Bijaksana to the 18,800 m3 Lucia Ambition.
Seri Bijaksana had loaded its cargo at Malaysia LNGs Bintulu export terminal in Sarawak, a facility operated by Petronas. Following the transfer, the two vessels proceeded to their respective destinations to discharge their cargoes.
Commenting on the operation, Petronas vice president of LNG marketing & trading Ahmad Adly Alias said: As the LNG market becomes more liquid and with the emergence of new markets and non-traditional buyers who face operational constraints at their terminals, Petronas is committed to supporting the growth of these markets through providing innovative and flexible operational solutions such as LNG breakbulk services via STS.
Asian buyers increasingly prefer to grow their LNG business gradually, by importing smaller parcels of LNG, moving away from the traditional mode of long-term supplies over a specific term.
Various stakeholders besides Petronas were involved in the collaborative STS operation, namely the Sabah Ports and Harbour Department, Sabah Port Authority, Argo Engineering, Eastport Marine, MISC and Farenco Shipping.
Lucia Ambition is the former Aman Bintulu, the first LNG carrier with a GTT Mark III membrane tank containment system to enter service when completed in 1993. Like Seri Bijaksana, Aman Bintulu was owned and operated by MISC, but in February 2017 was sold to Farenco Shipping, renamed and reactivated after 27 months in cold lay-up.
The steam turbine-powered Lucia Ambition is managed by Fleet Management, an affiliate of Farenco, and is serving on a four-year charter to Petronas, carrying Bintulu LNG to a Jovos small-scale Dongguan LNG receiving terminal in Chinas Guangdong province. Petronas has a contract to supply Jovo with LNG until 2023.