There are now 200 vessels in-service and on-order in the fleet of liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered seagoing ships, according to a new report by LNG World Shipping.
The 200 mark is reported to have been reached on March 20, when Russia's SCF Group (SCF), under its joint "Green Funnel" project with Shell Gas & Power (Shell), placed an order for four 114,000 DWT LNG-powered newbuildings from South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).
In total, there are 103 in-service LNG-fuelled vessels at the moment, with another 97 on order - a 23 percent increase from last year when there were 74 in-service vessels and 88 on order.
Out of four categories, which include passenger ships, tankers and bulk carriers, containers and dry cargo ships, and service and supply ships, passenger ships are said to have achieved the largest growth, accounting for 72 of the 200-ship total.
Currently, the in-service LNG-fuelled passenger ship fleet is reported to stand at 40 ships, compared to 30 one year ago, while vessels on order in the segment stand 32, up from 23 last year.
Meanwhile, the LNG-fuelled container and dry cargo ship fleet is the smallest of the four segments and has declined since last year with an orderbook that has dropped by one third to just 14 ships.
As Ship & Bunker has reported, a number of industry players expected to see increased investments related to the adoption of LNG as marine fuel following the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) decision to implement a 0.50 percent global sulfur cap on bunkers from 2020.