Shipowners Still Unsure of the Business Case for LNG Bunkers
According to preliminary results from a European Commission (EC) study, shipowners are still unsure of the business case for switching to liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkers, World Maritime News reports.
The study was said to confirm that companies see LNG as a way to comply with stricter Emission Control Area (ECA) sulfur regulations and as a way to have a more positive impact on the environment.
However, how to finance LNG as a fuel, along with the cost of LNG itself, were said to be critical and that ultimately the higher equipment costs for LNG capable engines and tanks are not yet offset by lower operating costs.
“This study gives us a solid overview of the opportunities and remaining challenges for the use of LNG for shipping,” said Sandro Santamato, head of unit for maritime transport and logistics at the European Commission.
“More importantly: the outcome helps us to feed a public debate on LNG for shipping and provides arguments for a stakeholder debate at local level.”
The study was conducted jointly with the EC’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), PricewaterhouseCoopers, and DNV-GL, with the final results to be released in June or July 2015.
Last month the U.S. Coast Guard published two policy letters giving guidance on using LNG as a marine fuel.