LNG Bunkers Could Save NE Feeder Vessels $55,000 per Trip vs ECA Compliant MGO

LNG Bunkers Could Save NE Feeder Vessels $55,000 per Trip vs ECA Compliant MGO

Keno Eden, Project Manager for Nordic Hamburg Shipmanagement GmbH & Co. KG(Nordic Hamburg), says operators could save up to $55,000 per trip using liquid natural gas (LNG) powered vessels on a 12.5-day North Europeanfeeder loop, compared to vessels burning Emissions Control Area (ECA) compliant MGO, The Load Star reports.

Speaking at last week’s JOC Container Trade Europe event in Hamburg, Eden said the “considerable” cost savings would be achievable once bunker prices begin to rise again.

Even so, he said the average price for ECA compliant 0.10 percent maximum sulfur MGO was currently around $440 per metric tonne (pmt) while LNG is currently $250 per tonne.

“The development of SECAs (Sulfur Emission Control Areas) in Europe is a real game-changer because it leads to a significant cost increases, but it’s also an opportunity in the push for LNG fuel.

“The technology is ready; emissions are down; it means reduced costs in ports; and there are no residual costs such as waste disposal of water used in scrubber systems.”

Nordic Hamburg is reported to have six vessels of 1,400 TEU capacities on order that are planned for deployment on a loop that includes St Petersburg and Riga, as well asRotterdam and Teesport in the UK.

Eden said the capital cost of the LNG vessels is about 25 percent higher than for a traditional vessel, but financing was made possible thanks to the fact that the six newbuilds have been placed on long-term charter with Containerships Group.

He also noted that despite the cost savings, a remaining obstacle for LNG-powered containerships is a lack of LNG bunkering infrastructure, with only one facility set to be developed in the region – Shell’s Rotterdam project.

“We need more LNG bunkering facilities in the region. Initially, it won’t be a problem because of the specific port rotation, but most ports also have no LNG bunkering regulations and procedures, so we will also need more political support.”


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