As the adoption of LNG as a ship fuel continues to speed up, DNV GL has launched a new online bunkering platform to take operators seamlessly from order through to delivery. FuelBoss offers ship owners, 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 and have supported the development with their expertise and domain knowledge.
LNG has arrived in shipping. After a long wait, the number of vessels trading will more than double in the next two years. As the fleet grows from vessels that primarily work fixed routes to those in more general operation, the complexities of LNG bunkering and planning need to adapt to these changing patterns.
“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 standardize and simplify daily work processes and enable the LNG fuel industry to reap the benefits of digitalization,” says 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 optimizing 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 standardized 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 ship owners and other buyers of LNG fuel.
The platform integrates software developed by port call optimization 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. “With the complexity of planning and coordinating operations for serving their growing customer base, Shell saw the need for a tailored digital tool that standardized the planning and work processes around the LNG bunker vessel operations,” says Leon Gommans, CEO Teqplay. “As LNG bunkering of Shell’s customers will be carried out by an increasingly global organisation to support the adoption of LNG fuel in new regions, the need for cost-competitive and standardized work processes became even more pressing.”
With FuelBoss, DNV GL and Teqplay have brought the market a flexible solution to fit the needs of both small and large LNG suppliers. LNG suppliers Gasum, Cryo Shipping and Nauticor have all signed up as pilot customers and have already supported the development with their user requirements, to ensure it becomes an efficient tool to manage their daily operations. DNV GL will continue to develop features for FuelBoss, including the integration of ship sensor data, data analytics for business intelligence, and support for other alternative fuels as demand grows.
The platform is due to launch commercially in April this year, but interested parties can sign up for beta access here.