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Floating storage regasification units (FSRU) offer a good option for LNG bunkering, two industry experts told the LNG bunker vessels: safety standards and regulation webinar.

Speaking on a panel during the Riviera Maritime Media event on 22 April, Andrew Stafford, Technical Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems, and Johannes Dziuba, Sales Manager, TGE Marine, were asked about the potential to use FSRUs for LNG bunker supply.

‘I think they are almost ideal,’ said Stafford. ‘They are constantly flowing LNG through to the regas[ification] plant, so why not tap off that feed and use it as a bunkering source?’

Stafford said that such an operation would require the outfitting of the correct equipment, and highlighted the FSRU in Dubai which he noted had been equipped with a bunkering station.

‘I’m not sure if it’s being fully utilised yet but people are definitely thinking of using these FSRUs as bunkering sources,’ said Stafford, adding, ‘it’s definitely a future application.’

Dziuba agreed with Stafford.

‘[A]n FSRU as a bunkering hub – why not?’ he said. ‘It might be feasible. It makes sense maybe for an area where you will have this stationary for a couple years.’

Dziuba also reiterated the importance of the correct outfitting.

‘An FSRU might have a very high freeboard for example. The manifold might be very big unless it’s purpose-built for the bunkering…then you’d need the proper hoses to get down to the receiving vessel to get the LNG there,’ said Dziuba.

However, an FSRU as a bunkering source, said Dziuba, would not provide the same flexibility as a conventional LNG bunkering vessel.

Stafford then suggested an alternative role for FSRUs in the LNG bunkering operation.

‘Similarly, you could actually use the FSRU as a hub. You’ve got 160,000 cubes [cubic metres] of LNG in an FSRU, why not take your 7,500 cube bunker vessel – you could take quite a few parcels from that – and go and distribute it as required?’

Dziuba agreed that having several LNG bunker vessels sourcing fuel from an FSRU was a ‘viable idea’ and a ‘feasible option’.

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