SEA\LNG released the findings of a new alternative fuels study, which finds that LNG is the most mature, scalable, and commercially viable alternative fuel currently available for the maritime industry. The study, conducted by Norway-based alternative fuel experts from DNV GL, concludes that while there are a variety of lower or zero carbon alternative fuels that could help to meet the goals of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, many of these alternatives require significant development to meet the industry’s needs.
The study also notes that many promising alternative fuels currently lack the regulatory framework, production capability and bunkering infrastructure for widespread adoption, and additionally are more expensive than traditional bunkers or LNG. As such, in a period where the industry is under considerable pressure to take steps to reduce GHG and other emissions to air, LNG is a solution that could help to move the industry forward, while laying the ground work for lower or carbon neutral fuels produced from renewable or zero-carbon energy.
Based on existing industry and academic literature, the study comprehensively evaluates the commercial and operational viability of six of the main alternative fuels: hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, LPG, biofuel, in the form of hydrotreated vegetable oil, and full battery-electric systems. It examines how they perform against LNG on a set of 11 key parameters, covering considerations such as applicability, scalability, economics and environmental performance.
“The study provides further backing for our belief that, in order to achieve GHG reductions and improve air quality NOW, ship owners and managers need to act decisively and invest in LNG capable vessels. Doing so will improve the long-term sustainability for the shipping industry, while safeguarding a competitive advantage for the ship owners and operators who facilitate global trade,” said SEA\LNG Chairman Peter Keller.
“The shipping industry is under increasing pressure from the market, the public and from regulators to reduce its emissions to air,” commented Torsten Schramm, President DNV GL – Maritime. “This means that alternative fuels and propulsion technologies should be on the radar of every shipowner, especially those in the market for a newbuilding in the near future. This new study should help to provide a clearer picture of the different fuels and their surrounding infrastructure. What is already clear, however, is that LNG can play a valuable and positive role in improving the maritime industry’s emissions to air as we head toward 2030 and on to 2050.”