Singapore to supply LNG to ships by 2020 - minister

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SINGAPORE (Oct 15): Singapore, the world's largest bunkering port, plans to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel ships by 2020, a government official said on Wednesday, as part of a global trend to move away from oil to gas to reduce emissions.

"We are working towards LNG bunkering in Singapore by 2020, hopefully earlier if possible," Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew said at an industry event.

The city state planned to start a pilot programme by early 2017 to fund up to $2 million per vessel for up to six LNG-fueled vessels for the testing of safety procedures and standards, he said.

More than 42 million tonnes of marine fuel has been sold annually in Singapore in the past three years, making it the world's largest bunkering port.

From next year, shipping firms will have to cut polluting sulphur emissions in vessels going to parts of Europe and North America, sparking a race for alternatives to standard diesel between fuel sources such as methanol and LNG.