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UAE fueling hubs lag behind in alternative fuels

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Reuters

by Jeslyn Lerh

DUBAI, March 15 – Fujairah in the UAE must invest more in the storage and supply of new alternative fuels despite the urgent need to decarbonize the sea, industry executives said on Wednesday, as the markets are the third largest in the world. Fueling centers remain unattractive.

The maritime industry must find alternative fuels to meet carbon reduction targets set by the United Nations International Maritime Organization, which include reducing carbon emissions by 40% from 2008 levels by 2030 and reducing total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 50% reduction.

Despite being an important bunkering port, Fujairah has been lagging behind hubs like Singapore and Rotterdam be prepared For alternative fuel markets such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Biofuels and Methanol.

Law Say Huat, general manager of storage company Vopak Horizon Fujairah Terminals Ltd, said potential investments in Fujairah should include repurposing storage tanks to accommodate these future fuels.

“In terms of new energy, in terms of decarbonization of other hubs, there are a lot of developments. We should not lose the game (in Fujairah) on this,” Law said in the 2023 Fujairah Refueling and Fuel Oil on Wednesday. Forum (FUJCON) said.

However, barriers exist to strengthening these investments, including a lack of cooperation.

“What may be really missing is engagement among registered stakeholders,” said Nizamuddin Noorali, managing director of storage terminal company GTI Fujairah.

“Everyone is doing their own thing, and it’s kind of siled…with no central involvement, the value chain can be added end-to-end,” Noorali added.

Lack of digitization and transparency will also hinder adoption.

“If you look at the bunkering operations off Fujairah today and how they are measured, the quantities are still done manually,” said Kenneth Dam, head of bunkering at TFG Marine, on the sidelines of the forum. He added that this manual operation was more time-consuming, Human error is more prone to occur.

In contrast, top fuel hub Singapore has stepped up efforts to digitize its fuel supply business, which could help pave the way for new fuels, he added.

Unlike Singapore, spot supplies of these fuels in Fujairah are progressing slowly due to a lack of immediate demand, trade sources said on the sidelines of the forum, although supplies will start in the next few years.

By 2050, Methanol and LNG Alternative marine fuels are expected to hold the largest market share in Fujairah, followed by biofuels and ammonia, shows the results of an online poll at the FUJCON forum.

“I hope in two years’ time, when we come back to Fujairah (for the next FUJCON), we’re no longer just talking about being able to supply LNG fuel, but that we actually have the capability,” said Peter LNG, chairman of industry alliance SEA-LNG. Keller said on the forum.

Fujairah is expected to continue to be one of the largest refueling hubs in the world.The port sees record oil throughput in 2022 and expects strong demand for oil storage Move forward.

(Reporting by Jeslyn Lerh; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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