Demand for the deep sea trades could grow significantly if Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkers are competitively priced compared with other fuel options. These are the findings of a major LNG bunkering study produced by Lloyd’s Register — LNG-fuelled deep sea shipping – the outlook for LNG bunker and LNG-fuelled newbuild demand up to 2025. The study states: “Use of LNG as bunker fuel for ships represents a real alternative to conventional marine bunker fuel oils when considering compliance with more stringent sulphur limits because of its virtually 0% SOx content in emissions (depending on engine type).”
The 52-page study, which is being launched at Gastech 2012 in London this week, assesses the likely scale of demand for LNG fuel and LNG-fuelled newbuilds using a unique interactive model of data drawn from major industry stakeholders. The base case scenario model, based on known factors affecting the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel between 2012-2025, points to 653 newbuilds or 4.2% of global newbuilds incorporating LNG-fuelled propulsion.
The 2011-2012 study says global acceptance of LNG as a marine fuel will depend on the development of a global bunkering infrastructure as well as viable pricing. It advises owners to consider fuel flexibility while the various options are weighed.
”The obstacles to the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel are practical factors, but they are not technical. They are commercial,” writes Hector Sewell, the Head of Marine Business Development for Lloyd’s Register, in Gas Technology — a special report on marine and offshore gas solutions. ”Establishing safe, reliable global LNG bunkering capability is feasible. But it will require considerable investment and risk management, and it will have to cover significant operational costs to challenge existing fuel-oil delivery systems.”
The study, which aims to help clients draft plans for future emissions compliance with the IMO’s Marpol Annex VI rules and Emission Control Areas (ECAs), will help foster the future design and technology of vessel propulsion systems.
The study was commissioned in April 2011 to understand how a global LNG bunkering infrastructure might develop and to assess the likelihood of LNG being widely adopted as a fuel for deep sea shipping. You can read more about this study in Gas Technology, a special report on marine and offshore gas solutions, and the bunkering study is available at www.lr.org/bunkering.