Jovo Group Company Ltd. Guangdong is planning to make the Philippines a hub for its shipping operations in Southeast Asia.

Jovo eyes PH as potential operations hub

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced on Thursday that the China’s leading energy service provider is set to start its ship-to-ship (STS) transfer operations in Subic Bay. The SBMA said the operations will involve transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) in oil tankers before being transferred to smaller vessels bound for China. Ports in China could not accommodate bulk carriers due to depth issues.

Regional hub to be assessed after five years

According to Jovo International Business general manager Yuan Lu, the LNG will be carried to Subic from Australia and Indonesia by a 94,000-ton bulk carrier. From there, the cargo will be transferred to a smaller 47,000-tonnage capacity ship to China.

Lu disclosed the operations of Jovo in Subic will be assessed after five years, which results will determine if a regional hub should be established to accommodate the delivery of LNG to local markets and the rest of Southeast Asia. The long-term plan of the project is to introduce the LNG to local markets in the Philippines, particularly those in the transportation sector as this kind of fuel is safe and environmentally friendly.

Liquefied natural gas

LNG is a clear, colorless and non-toxic liquid which forms when natural gas is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius (-260 degrees Fahrenheit). The cooling process shrinks the volume of the gas 600 times, making it easier and safer to store and ship. It is most commonly used in natural gas vehicles, however, its high cost of production and the need to store it in expensive cryogenic tanks have prevented its widespread use in commercial applications.

Fan Hong Jun, a senior engineer from China Classification Society (CCS) said that compared to highly combustible gasoline or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), LNG has lesser greenhouse effect and is lighter than air, making it safer in case of spillage. In case LNG spills in any forms of water, Fan said it will not affect the marine life and the water will remain safe for drinking.

He added that with Jovo’s decades-worth of comprehensive experience in clean energy shipping, storage, processing and sales with zero accidents, the port will earn millions of pesos in revenue on the course of its operations, while assuring that LNG and the operations will be environmentally safe.

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