LNG Bunkers a Pragmatic Bridge to Zero-Carbon Future: SEA\LNG

Friday May 18, 2018

With some industry stakeholders having questioned the suitability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers as a marine fuel of the future, SEA\LNG today has reiterated the alternative fuel's ability to reduce emissions from Shipping and, in particular, GHG emissions in line with industry ambition set out at MEPC 72.

That ambition seeks to reduce GHG emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels, and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently said phasing out GHG emissions from international shipping altogether is something that should be achieved as soon as possible in this century.

The industry is also facing the reality of a global 0.50% sulfur cap on marine fuel that comes into force in less than 20 months time.

In light of this, the coalition says LNG is "an unrivalled solution" when it comes to local emissions requirements, emitting zero SOx, virtually zero particulate matter (PM), and depending on the technology used, 90% fewer NOx emissions than burning HFO.

By its reckoning, LNG also provides "realistic reductions" of CO2 by 10-20%.

While this level of performance lead green group T&E to call LNG a "decarbonisation dead-end" and a recent ITF report to conclude it was "not the ideal solution to reduce greenhouse gas from ships", SEA\LNG today said it was nevertheless "a pragmatic bridge to a zero-carbon future."

"The coalition believes that the decision adopted by [MEPC 72] underlines how essential LNG as a marine fuel is as a commercially viable bridging solution to a zero-emissions shipping industry, while enabling it to comply with the immediate regulatory demands of the IMO 2020 global sulphur cap," SEA\LNG said.

Another key advantage noted by the group is that LNG is ready and available today as a viable solution.

The University of Southampton recently commented that it is not currently clear what the most viable zero-emissions fuel is from a technical and commercial perspective.