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South Africa will still provide LNG despite environmental opposition

THE founder of an upcoming liquefied natural gas bunkering facility in South Africa is confident the time is right for the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for the maritime sector, although, some industry experts oppose further investment in developing LNG for widespread use

South Africa will still provide LNG despite environmental opposition

THE founder of an upcoming liquefied natural gas bunkering facility in South Africa is confident the time is right for the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for the maritime sector, although, some industry experts oppose further investment in developing LNG for widespread use

04 December 2019 - 19:00

THE founder of an upcoming liquefied natural gas bunkering facility in South Africa is confident the time is right for the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for the maritime sector, although, some industry experts oppose further investment in developing LNG for widespread use.

DNG Energy expects to start providing LNG as marine fuel off of Algoa Bay, South Africa's biggest bunkering port, in the second quarter of 2020. The firm will rely on a 147,000 cum LNG floating facility and two bunkering barges smaller than 12,000 cum.



Company chief executive Aldworth Mbalati told Lloyd's List that his company believes using LNG makes sense, not least because of its sulphur-eradicating properties.



While LNG-fuelled vessels remain a small minority of the global fleet, they have risen in popularity over the last couple of years, with heavyweights such as CMA CGM ordering more LNG-fuelled containerships and the building of capesize LNG-fuelled bulk carriers.



However, DNG Energy is commencing the operation at a time when the fuel also faces a backlash from certain parts of the industry. There are naysayers demanding shipowners refrain from investing in LNG-fuelled ships, warning LNG is just another fossil fuel with limited carbon-cutting properties.



'So, you want to continue destroying the environment in the hope and prayer that you will find an ultimate solution in the future, whereas today you can mitigate the damage. I just don't understand the intellectual prowess of that argument,' Mr Mbalati said.



His argument against the critics of the fuel is that LNG is a transitional fuel until a longer lasting solution can be found. This argument echoes what many other proponents of LNG fuel believe.



Mr Mbalati told Lloyd's List that DNG Energy will source the LNG it will be selling on to vessels from the US, without providing further details. It also aims to charter vessels to bring the LNG to South Africa.


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