Lloyd’s Register North America, Inc. (LR) has teamed with Penn Oak Energy Corp with the aim of helping companies raise much needed capital and mitigate the technical risks associated with retrofitting ships fuelled by liquid natural gas (LNG), by providing a one-stop-shop solution to the industry.
The challenge to building these new environmentally-friendly ships has been that shipowners are unwilling to invest in LNG-fuelled ships if supplies of LNG bunker are difficult to obtain. However, according to Lloyd’s Register, that has started to change as more LNG facilities are built.
LR’s LNG Bunkering Infrastructural Survey 2014 indicates that major ports around the world are either planning for, or are anticipating, the wide-scale development of LNG bunkering. The other challenge for shipbuilders is the large initial capital costs to build these new ships.
“LNG as a fuel has emerged as one of the most considered choices for a new generation of vessels. The infrastructure to support this new class of ships has started to mature, and we have seen great strides in companies willing to convert their existing ships to this new fuel or constructing new ships in the U.S. Emission Control Areas.
“Our relationship with Penn Oak Energy will help provide the private equity to ship owners to undertake these ambitious projects, and assist those ship builders that the U.S. will need to expand this growing demand,” said LR’s Rafa Riva, Marine Business Development Manager.
Penn Oak Energy, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a developer of LNG fuel solutions for industrial clients. The company specializes in turnkey solutions that take into consideration technology, natural gas liquefaction and supply, as well as logistics and financial considerations.
“The reason Penn Oak Energy chose to partner with Lloyd’s Register after doing a thorough review on other class societies throughout the maritime industry was that Lloyd’s Register was the most experienced in LNG conversions and transport vessels,” said Philip Parker, head of business development for Penn Oak Energy.