SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea will promote the liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering industry, which is expected to gain strong growth momentum thanks to tougher international environmental regulations.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced that a revised Urban Gas Business Act which includes a newly-created category for LNG bunkering businesses, passed deliberations and received the approval of the Cabinet, and will take effect on Wednesday.
The revision was made to boost the domestic LNG bunkering market amid expectations that the use of LNG to fuel ships will increase due to the International Maritime Organization’s toughened regulations on ships’ greenhouse gas emission.
Previously, the state-run Korea Gas Corp. was the only supplier of vessel-use LNG due to high prices, and there was no private supplier.
The core of the revision is to invigorate the nation’s LNG bunkering business, which is still in its infancy.
The revision aims to make it easier for private businesses to launch LNG bunkering initiatives by enabling them to register if they meet minimum requirements – either have a storage tank, vehicle-linked tank, or natural gas supplying ship, and 100 million won (US$83,900) or more paid-in capital.
Suppliers of LNG for bunkering use will only need to give notice when importing natural gas from overseas, and the price will be determined by the market.
Previously, importers had to receive government approval when importing natural gas. Total import volume and the gas price also needed to be approved by the government or regional authorities.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)