By MYRNA M. VELASCO
Manila-headquartered Atlantic Gulf & Pacific (AG&P) is offering flexible and small-scale floating solutions such as articulated tug barge (ATB) to underpin the much-anticipated development of the Philippines’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure, including the rollout and distribution.
The ATB, according to the company, is propelled by a detachable stern vessel (DSV) which is perceived to be more cost-efficient compared to the ordinary small-scale LNG break-bulk ships and land-based terminals.
“In the Philippines, we see a combination of floating and onshore solutions playing a role in LNG distribution,” Karthik Sathyamoorthy, president of AG&P’s Singapore-based LNG Marketing has noted.
He said one ideal underpinning solution to that would be ATB, which the company offers for feasible deployment, was an offshoot of a partnership with Kanfer Shipping of Norway.
AG&P made an announcement in November that it made a strategic equity investment in Kanfer Shipping, and such will enable the two firms to “make LNG accessible and commercially viable for downstream customers in new and growing natural gas markets.”
It has been emphasized that with the scalability of ATB solution, this will make it “easier and quicker to build and deploy than ordinary small-scale ships.” In addition, it said, the ATB “offers flexibility as you can move the barge-based floating terminal from one location to another to match changing demand.”
Sathyamoorthy indicated that aside from ATBs, another practical solution for the Philippine gas market would be transport solutions such as milk-run LNG vessels and delivery of LNG by truck.
AG&P said “Our onshore LNG trucking networks typically include mother and daughter stations where LNG is converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) for distribution via truck to retail facilities based at existing fueling stations and/or directly to industrial, commercial and automotive customers.”
“This infrastructure is part of our city gas distribution networks in India as well as in Indonesia, where we jointly operate a fleet of LNG trucks serving the power and industrial sectors,” Sathyamoorthy explained. He said their solution is scalable and can be replicated in other markets like the Philippines.