LR has joined a new cross-industry initiative called SEA\LNG that aims to accelerate the use of LNG as a marine fuel. Other partners include Carnival Corporation, DNV-GL, ENGIE, ENN, GE, GTT, Mit.
Explaining the coalition’s objective, Peter Keller, chairman of SEA\LNG and executive vice president of TOTE Inc., said: “We recognise the need to work closely with key players across the value chain, including shipping companies, classification societies, ports, major LNG suppliers, downstream companies, infrastructure providers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to ensure an understanding of the environmental and performance benefits of LNG as a marine transport fuel. SEA\LNG aims to address market barriers and help transform the use of LNG as a marine fuel into a global reality”.
Leo Karistios, LR's Gas Technology Manager, said: “LNG fuelled shipping has mainly been for the visionaries and, until now, concentrated in specialist ship sectors – short sea shipping and ferries, mainly sailing between two fixed ports. We want to help drive the expansion of LNG as a marine fuel of choice, with not just more short sea and local ships burning gas, but also the deep sea trades”.
Over 90% of global trade moves by sea and this trade is expected to increase substantially over the coming years. In terms of tonne miles, shipping is the world’s cleanest form of transport. However, the volumes moved are so large that shipping is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas (~3% of the total global), sulphur oxides (SOx, ~10% of the total) and nitrogen oxides (NOx, ~15%) emissions.
The emissions reduction requirements which have come into force around the world to respond to this challenge are increasing demand for LNG as a shipping fuel. LNG offers significant environmental advantages over heavy fuel oil, the main fuel used in shipping today. LNG significantly reduces SOx, NOx and particulate emissions, and can also contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions. LNG is therefore able to offer a fuel solution compliant with both current and anticipated future regulations.
However, while LNG is a competitive fuel relative to current alternatives, LNG infrastructure is needed in ports around the world to enable quick, safe and cost effective bunkering. In parallel, there remains a price premium for LNG-fuelled vessels which can make investment decisions challenging. Furthermore, regulation is not yet globally consistent, which constrains incentives for investment in the sector. SEA\LNG aims to address and help overcome these and other challenges.