Subic Bay Freeport—China’s leading clean energy service provider Jovo Group Company Ltd. Guangdong on Wednesday said it is ready to engage in ship-to-ship operations in Subic Bay.
Under the STS transfer operations, liquefied natural gas from the Asia Pacific will be transferred from oil tankers to smaller vessels bound to ports in China.
STS brings petroleum products to China, most of whose ports cannot accommodate bulk carriers because their waters are not deep enough.
In a public consultation, Jovo international business general manager Yuan Lu said the LNG will be brought to Subic Bay from Australia and Indonesia by a Belgium-flag carrier, a 94,000-ton bulk carrier. The cargo will then be transferred at sea to a smaller 47,000-ton ships bound for China.
Lu said the STS operations of Jovo in Subic will be assessed after five years, to determine if a regional hub should be established in the freeport for the delivery of LNG to the local market and the rest of Southeast Asia.
He said Jovo’s long-term plan is to introduce LNG to local markets in the Philippines, especially those in the transport sector since that fuel is safe and environment-friendly.
Lu said Jovo has decades of comprehensive experience in clean energy shipping, storage, processing and sales with zero accidents, and assured that LNG and the STS operation will be environmentally safe.
The consultation attended by local fishermen, members of the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police Maritime Group and workers of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority was held at the SBMA Seaport Administration Building.
“We are thankful for the invitation of SBMA headed by its new chairman Martin Diño and Jovo for this consultation for them to hear our concerns and enlighten us on this ship-to-ship operation that might affect our livelihood,” said Subic Bay Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council chairman Laureano Artagame.
Artagame noted that large ships oftentimes occupy the fishing areas of small fishermen in Subic Bay, but with the consultation, accidental “intrusions” can now be avoided.
Meanwhile, China Classification Society senior engineer Fan Hong Jun compared highly combustible gasoline or liquefied petroleum gas against LNG which has lesser greenhouse effects and is lighter than air, making it safer in case of spillage.
With a property temperature of -162 C, LNG is hard to burn but evaporates rapidly, Fan explained, adding that if it spills into our oceans or even into our water source, it will not affect marine life, and our water remains safe to drink.
“It burns slowly, and does not mix with water nor kill fish or any other marine life. LNG is very environmental friendly,” he said.
Fan said the Port of Subic will earn tens of millions of pesos from services, including tug boat services, port services and anchorage. This does not include indirect revenue from payments for tugboats, chandlers, bunkering and food supplies, he added.