A collaborative approach to understanding the opportunities and then tackling the associated commercial barriers to liquefied natural gas (LNG) is crucial to encourage its use as an alternative to traditional bunker fuels, according to the industry coalition SEA\LNG.
With a transition to stricter emissions levels from marine bunker fuel due in 2020, when the global sulphur cap will be reduced to 0.5%, SEA\LNG has called for a candid appraisal of barriers to LNG as a marine fuel.
Ship owners, fuel suppliers, and other associated supply chain stakeholders will need to make major investments to comply with these new global regulations. By addressing the core issue; the fuel itself, LNG provides a viable solution for the long term. However, barriers need to be better understood and overcome if LNG is to reach its full potential, SEA\LNG said.
These barriers include LNG infrastructure and market maturity; the lack of understanding of LNG’s benefits among end users, investors, governments, and civil society; capital expenditure (capex) premiums for vessels and bunkering infrastructure; and fragmented and evolving regulations.
SEA\LNG said that collaboration, demonstration, and communication “are essential to continue to develop an effective and efficient global LNG value chain by 2020.”
“We all need to do more to help break down the commercial barriers to LNG, particularly in the deep-sea shipping segment. From LNG suppliers, bunkering companies, shipping lines, and shipyards, to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), classification societies, and port authorities, organisations from across the marine value chain must work together to collectively drive the change needed for the industry to meet the environmental thresholds,” Peter Keller, SEA\LNG Chairman and Executive Vice President, Tote said.
Keller added that creating the infrastructure to enable quick, safe, and cost effective LNG bunkering in key global ports, making LNG-fueled vessels cost efficient and establishing consistency of international and national regulations “are all essential if LNG is going to fulfil its potential as a solution for the shipping industry.”