SMM: General Trend Towards LNG Undeniable
At SMM 2014, environmental protection takes a prominent place on the agenda. An entire day of the leading international maritime trade fair will be dedicated to gmec, the global maritime environmental congress, to study current trends in efficiency improvement and sustainability.
The shipping industry is facing major changes: As early as 2015, ships will be required to use fuel with a sulphur content below 0.1 per cent within Emission Control Areas (ECAs), i.e. in the Baltic and North Seas as well as along the coasts of North America. As of 2016, the NOx emissions of newly launched ships must be reduced to about 25 per cent of the current value. And as of 2020, all HFO will be banned. More than 60,000 ships will have to be converted to other fuels or retrofitted with exhaust gas scrubbers by then. “At gmec, the global maritime environmental congress, which will take place on the Environmental Protection Theme Day of SMM on 9 September, international experts will discuss new solutions and technologies which can help the shipping industry achieve its environmental goals,” says Bernd Aufderheide, Chairman of the Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. The conference, titled “Setting the Green Course“, is once again hosted jointly by Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH and Seatrade Communications Ltd.
LNG – ship propellant of the future?
Ship owners around the world have begun retrofitting vessels for LNG. The Turkish shipyard Sanmar is currently building the world’s first tugboats propelled by LNG engines. They have been ordered by Buksér og Berging AS of Norway. Even in the cruise industry there is growing interest in LNG. Both AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises have partnered with engineering companies to develop floating power stations using liquefied natural gas for power generation. This will allow cruise ships to switch of their auxiliary engines while in port.
The general trend towards LNG is undeniable: The classification society DNV GL expects the LNG powered fleet to grow to 3,200 ships by the year 2025. However, a number of unresolved issues remain. “The speed of introduction of LNG largely depends on the refueling infrastructure, the fuel savings compared to diesel fuel, and the required legal framework,” says Stephan Timmermann, Head of Marine Systems at MAN Diesel & Turbo SE and member of the Advisory Board of SMM, the leading trade event for the global shipping industry. Furthermore, an extensive network of refuelling stations has yet to be established.
Broad array of topics
LNG will be among the topics on the agenda of gmec, as will be trimming, route optimisation, ship design, ballast water management and hull coatings, all of which are key issues in the ongoing discussion about efficiency enhancements and green shipping. “The gmec conference is one of the leading industry platforms addressing environmental subjects where trends are identified and decisions prepared. We are pleased to say that once again the conference will feature a highly distinguished roster of experts,” says Aufderheide.