IGU Discusses Barriers and Opportunities for LNG Marine Fuel
The International Gas Union (IGU)’s Utilization Committee has published a paper authored by Felix Apfel, Jr. Project Manager for Gas for Transport, GAZPROM Germania, to stimulate discussion about the increasing pressures faced by the shipping industry – both from within its own ranks and from policymakers – to become a clean form of transport. Apfel investigates where those pressures comes from and proposes measures needed to address them if the opportunities offered by natural gas as a marine fuel are to be exploited.
In line with IGU thinking, the paper states Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is expected to rise as an alternative fuel of choice given its potential to help reduce environment and health-damaging emissions from shipping, particularly in coastal areas and port cities.
“Overall, natural gas’s total ecobalance is superior to that of fuel oils when measured using the tank-to-propeller (TTP) metric and particularly when using the well-to-wheel (WTW) metric,” says Apfel.
Already, LNG marine engine and fuel system technology is developed to the degree that all “applicable legal requirements (SECA requirements, ECA requirements, Tier III requirements) and planned emission regulations (CO2-Cut measures and limits on NOx and particles)” can be met without additional exhaust treatment.
Isla Bella – LNG powered container vessel (TOTE Maritime)
Although there are 186 LNG-propulsion vessels either in operation or being built, not including the many ‘LNG-ready’ vessels that are on order, Apfel describes the market as still being hesitant. Why and what can be done about it? What measures are needed to increase confidence and investment? When will LNG be rightfully accepted as a safe, cleaner, properly regulated and available fuel?