SEA\LNG sees growth in fleet and future for biofuels

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 14 February 2020


In its latest review titled LNG as marine fuel - Our zero emissions future starts now published this week, SEA\LNG the advocacy body for LNG as a marine fuel highlights the growth in the world fleet and future alternatives for biofuels as well as the investment case for LNG.

On fleet growth, the review says, “As recognition of the business case for LNG as a marine fuel grows, so too does the order book for LNG-fuelled vessels, across all sectors. In June 2019 there were 163 LNG-fuelled ships in operation (excluding over 500 LNG carriers) and a further 155 ships on order. Today (February 2020) these numbers have increased to a total of 175 LNG-fuelled ships in operation, with 203 on order and a further 141 LNG-ready vessels in operation and sitting on the order books.

The review also makes the emissions case for LNG saying, “the Tank-to-Wake emissions reduction benefits for LNG fuelled engines compared to HFO fuelled ships are between 18% to 28% for 2-stroke slow speed engines and between 12 to 22% for 4-stroke medium speed engines. The absolute Well-to-Wake emissions reduction benefits, accounting for methane emissions, for LNG-fuelled engines compared with HFO fuelled ships today are between 14% to 21% for 2-stroke slow speed engines and between 7% to 15% for 4-stroke medium speed engines. Importantly, around 70% of the marine fuel consumed today is by 2-stroke engines with a further 18% used by 4-stroke medium speed engines.

The expected developments in LBM (liquid bio methane) and LSM (liquid synthetic methane) provide LNG users a pathway to 2050 and beyond. At a molecular level LBM and LSM are identical to (fossil-fuel derived) LNG meaning that there are no blending issues and existing assets, such as LNG-fuelled ships and bunkering infrastructure will not be stranded. Therefore, LNG with growing substitution by LBM and LSM represents the most compelling decarbonisation journey, starting now, for deep sea shipping.

SEA\LNG also said that it will shortly publish a study which analyses the current and future global availability of LBM and LSM.

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