CO2 Reduction Efforts Key to Adoption of LNG Bunkering: Bernhard Schulte

Monday October 31, 2016

Germany's Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Bernhard Schulte) says efforts to reduce CO2 will be key for the adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, Reuters reports.

Angus Campbell, corporate director of energy projects at Bernhard Schulte, says shipping will be forced to make changes once the EU's monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system for CO2 emissions is implemented from 2018.

"If you are a shipowner and you are burning liquid hydrocarbon fuels (diesel, fuel oil), you don't have any options. Neither distillates nor scrubbers can reduce your CO2 footprint," said Campbell, suggesting that operators will either need to pay a carbon tax or switch to cleaner fuels, such as LNG or methanol.

However, Campbell says that, since LNG is not a particularly viable option for existing vessels due to the expense of retrofitting such propulsion systems, dual-fuel engines will lead the way in the adoption of LNG bunkers.

Such engines will enable shipowners "to run on distillates before the LNG infrastructure catches up and then switch to a cleaner more competitive fuel once it does," said Campbell, noting that shipowners are currently reluctant to invest in new technology without sufficient infrastructure required to support it.

Further, Campbell says that, while switching fuel will impose extra costs on a financially stressed sector, change is slowly underway as governments begin to promote LNG bunkering, referring to Singapore's LNG bunkering plan, slated to begin in 2017.

Late last week, the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) Marine Environment Protection Committee at its 70th session (MEPC 70) agreed that a 0.5 percent global sulfur cap on marine fuel will be implemented from 2020.