China: DNV’s COO Predicts Thousands of LNG Fuelled Ships by 2020

China - DNV's COO Predicts Thousands of LNG Fuelled Ships by 2020

COO of DNV Asia Pacific & Middle East Mr. Remi Eriksen at a press conference at the Marintec China in Shanghai predicts thousands of LNG fuelled ships by 2020.

“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. “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.”

World Maritime News Staff, November 30, 2011; Image: DNV