Doha / QATAR: Why LNG bunkering so important to Europe? Could be a challenge for the world shipping sector? What will be the global LNG bunkering demand by 20120?
For a number of very important reasons the LNG should be the next main fuel for ships, replacing oil bunkering.
The LNG bunker demand is expected to experience a significant increase in volume due to stricter emission requirements and control regulations. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and EU has adopted measures to prevent air pollution from ships, current regulations are implementing strict limits on sulphur content in marine bunker to limit emissions.
From Jan. 1st 2020 a global sulphur limit of 0.5% in maritime bunker is expected. A critical aspect of the development of LNG as a fuel is the lack of an established bunkering infrastructure and supply network for delivering LNG as a marine fuel. This is considered a significant barrier with gas producers and bunker suppliers unwilling to invest in the necessary infrastructure until there is sufficient demand to supply commercial shipping with LNG fuel.
QENERGY’s recently LNG bunkering project will start from Piraeus port, as one of the main bunkering ports for deep sea ships and one of the largest ports in Europe in terms of ships capacity and passengers transportations. Today where the LNG import terminals exist could be the key driver of providing LNG in small parcels for bunkering operations. European ports have carried out most work and research into LNG as a fuel and the provision of bunkering facilities. We have currently seen great respond from ship-owners primarily passengers ships and medium-long term by cruise ships followed by container ship owners.
As all agreed the main concerns and drivers for change to LNG are a) pricing LNG, c) LNG availability, c) local regulations and cost of conversion and bunkering infrastructure. Recent studies have shown that 7m tons of LNG p.a. is required by 2020 corresponds to 0.6% of the global 2010 production; with almost 1,300 LNG fuelled ships will be in operation by 2020. Today only 30ships in operation and 33 ships in order.
Source: Gulf Times, Caye Global News
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