“We believe 500 LNG fuelled ships will be on order by 2015, several thousands by 2020,” Mr. Remi Eriksen, COO of DNV Asia Pacific & Middle East
Det Norske Veritas AS (DNV), a global provider of risk management services with the purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, has spoken of the continued momentum for liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled shipping at a press conference at the Marintec China in Shanghai. “Increasing focus on LNG as a clean and cost effective ship fuel has brought forward initiatives throughout the shipping industry, preparing the ground for a more rapid introduction of LNG as fuel for ships in all segments,” said Mr. Remi Eriksen, COO of DNV Asia Pacific & Middle East. “We believe 500 LNG fuelled ships will be on order by 2015, several thousands by 2020,” he said.
“From a slow start, the interest in LNG as fuel is now very much on the increase. We see studies and projects initiated among national governments, major ship yards and ship owners. Key players throughout the shipping industry are assessing the benefits and risks of going for LNG fuelled vessels, either as conversions or new buildings. This greater interest is creating a momentum that in itself increases the speed in which LNG will be introduced to all segments of shipping.”
“Shipping has been lagging behind other industries when it comes to emissions. For land based activities, stricter and stricter requirements have been enforced over the past decade or so. As an example, fuel for cars, diesel and gasoline, today contain almost no sulphur, resulting in negligible emissions of SOx. The shipping industry, on the other hand, has been omitted from most of these emissions requirements. But this era has now come to an end,” Remi Eriksen said.
“The consequences of the new requirements are very clear: significant changes need to be done either to the ship or to the fuel. Judging by today’s technologies, there are only very few options available. And keep in mind,” Remi Eriksen said, “the SOx requirements are applicable to the entire global fleet of ships, not only newbuildings. Ship owners basically have three options for meeting the requirements: Switch to ultra-low sulphur fuel, keep running on Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and install exhaust gas scrubbers, or switch to LNG fuel,” he said.
“DNV has spent considerable resources on developing concept vessels fuelled by LNG. Not in order to engage in ship design – because we are not. DNV contributes with ideas that collectively will bring the industry forward. We have put our best and most innovative engineers together to develop ideas that can make shipping cleaner, safer and more cost effective.” Mr. Eriksen said. “These ideas have been presented to ship owners, yards, regulators infrastructure owners, oil and gas companies and other stakeholders in the shipping industry in order to stimulate creativity and true progress. The basic ship types sailing the seas today are to a large extent the same as we saw 20 years ago. This industry is about to bring forward new solutions to solve well known problems, – and as a response to new and tougher global regulations.”
Mr. Remi Eriksen pointed at the fact that LNG infrastructure is available or in the process of being made available in all major markets, to enable the use of LNG as energy source for power production and other industrial use. As terminals are being planned and built, they gradually take facilities for LNG bunkering into account.
“The dilemma of the chicken and the egg is now being reduced,” Remi Eriksen said. “We believe a substantial number of vessels will be ordered with dual fuel or with LNG as main fuel. What we see is that years of innovation and concept development now are leading to real change.”
DNV has proposed LNG applications for a variety of shipping types, including container shipping. The Quantum Container Ship Concept was developed out of industry concerns around fuel savings and emission of CO2, SOx and NOx, so DNV selected a dual-fuel power generation system based on MDO and LNG ideally suited for short-sea shipping and capable of operating in Emission Control Areas (ECAs). Developing a hybrid fuel system represented a significant design challenge with respect to LNG storage, as the LNG fuel may require up to three times more space than ordinary fuel oil. However, the dual-fuel electrical motors give more flexibility to utilise small void spaces, and by moving the engine room aft, designers created space below accommodation for two 2,500m3 LNG tanks without sacrificing space suitable for containers.
Quantum is powered by four dual-fuel engines providing a redundant machinery system with flexible power generation over a wide speed range. By switching to LNG when approaching the coastline, ECA requirements to exhaust emissions are fulfilled and cold ironing is not needed. Propulsion is provided by two electrically driven pods giving superior manoeuvrability in crowded ports.
(This article compiled using information from DNV press releases)