The growing presence of alternative marine fuels in the shipping sector is a presenting a conundrum to marine insurers.
Writing in the shipping trade newspaper Tradewinds, Mike Salthouse, director of external affairs for protection and indemnity club Northstandard, said that the new fuels will need liability regimes to address the safety risk posed by those new fuels.
"Existing conventions such as the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage are not appropriate," Salthouse said adding that new conventions take time "to develop and enter into force".
P&I clubs say they are working closely with their shipowner members -- the International Group of P&I Clubs has established a collaborative working group -- to promote the safe utilisation of alternative fuels.
But the challenge, according to Salthouse, is how risk is going to be priced.
"We can see this coming down the tracks and we can't just wait until there are 20 fuels available before we come up with a price," Salthouse said.
"We have to consider how we price that risk and how will it work. That to my mind is why we need a liability framework for ammonia, hydrogen and nuclear."