One of the biggest backers of LNG as a marine fuel has developed a one-stop shop platform for owners to source and get the new fuel delivered to their ships.
Class society DNV GL has launched a new online bunkering platform called FuelBoss offering shipowners, operators and suppliers a single common platform for nomination, scheduling, spot inquiries and business intelligence. LNG suppliers Gasum, Cryo Shipping and Nauticor are amongst the confirmed pilot customers.
“LNG has arrived in shipping. After a long wait, the number of vessels trading will more than double in the next two years,” DNV GL stated in a release.
A survey from SMM, the world’s largest shipping exhibition, found nearly half of all owners polled are mulling LNG-fuelled newbuilds.
“The idea behind FuelBoss is to accelerate the uptake of LNG in the maritime industry by providing suppliers with a highly efficient tool for managing all their customers and day to day operations, while offering ship operators a common interface for interacting with LNG suppliers. FuelBoss will standardise and simplify daily work processes and enable the LNG fuel industry to reap the benefits of digitalization,” commented Trond Hodne, senior vice president at DNV GL – Maritime. “At the moment, both the interest in and the number of vessels using LNG is growing rapidly, but the bunkering picture is still fragmented. Delivery costs can be a significant part of the delivered LNG price, so optimising the supply chain is essential. FuelBoss will let LNG suppliers and shipowners reap the network benefits of having a single platform for this growing market.”
Online and open to anyone, FuelBoss is an integrated tool for LNG bunkering, allowing users to order bunker volumes within term contracts in a standardised format, keep track of changes and monitor involved assets, communicate through an integrated messaging service and digitally fill in, sign and archive forms and documentation from the bunkering process.
The platform will facilitate spot inquiries outside term contracts and the users will also have access to a map-based overview of assets to keep track of LNG-fuelled ships and LNG bunker vessels through live and historic AIS feed. Signing up to the platform is free for shipowners and other buyers of LNG fuel.
The platform integrates software developed by port call optimisation and maritime supply chain specialist Teqplay. This software has been validated and used by LNG supplier Shell and their customers for a year, to plan and execute LNG bunkering operations. The platform is due to launch commercially in April.