Dutch energy major Shell and Project Forward, led by Athens-based Arista Shipping, have come together to investigate the options of supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels and assess the bunker requirements for globally-trading bulk carriers, tankers and container vessels.
Including the resources of ABS, Deltamarin, GTT and Wärtsilä, Project Forward has developed a technically feasible and commercially viable design for ocean going, deep sea vessels powered by LNG fuel, which is said to be equally suitable for bulk carriers and tankers.
The widespread adoption of LNG in the marine sector has to overcome obstacles related to bunkering infrastructure. Even though LNG import terminals are available at many ports, the barges and infrastructure needed to undertake the bunkering operations are still at an early stage of development.
“Merchant shipping is under increased pressure of tight regulations on emissions from a range of sources and this will continue in future,” Arista Shipping Principal Alexander P Panagopulos, said.
The design of Project Forward ensures a very long sailing range on LNG, which can be adjusted to fit specific needs of each owner or trade pattern, according to Arista Shipping.
“As a result it could be sufficient for LNG-fuelled vessels to bunker LNG at major ports only,” the company said, adding that the Project Forward partners are working towards making the launch of a first bulk carrier vessel with the Project Forward design feasible within the next few years.