Top Firms Join Forces to Boost LNG as Marine Fuel

A number of companies have decided to join forces in a new cross-industry initiative called SEA\LNG, to accelerate the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.

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, ~5-8% of the total) and nitrogen oxides (NOx, at least 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, as it reduces SOx, NOx and particulate emissions, and can also contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions.

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 overcome these and other challenges.

As of July 2016, the SEA\LNG’s members include the Miami-based cruise company Carnival Corporation & plc, Norwegian classification society DNV ·GL, French electric utility company ENGIE, ENN, GE, GTT, Lloyd’s Register, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line, Port of Rotterdam, liquefied natural gas company Qatargas, Shell Downstream, Tote Inc., and Wartsila.

“By working together proactively across the whole marine LNG value chain we can make the transition to a low emission marine sector a reality. We are proud to share this aim and to align ourselves with other innovators in this field,” Tom Strang, senior vice president, Maritime Affairs, Carnival Corporation & plc, said.

“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,” Leo Karistios, gas technology lead, Lloyd’s Register (LR), said.

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