LNG sees itself at the top of the class
A study has found that using LNG as a marine fuel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 21%.
It has to be admitted that this latest study analysing alternative fuels and greenhouse gases emissions was initiated by LNG’s proponents; it was commissioned by the industry association Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) and by SEA \ LNG, a not-for-profit foundation with members from the industry. It nevertheless shows the fuel’s great potential.
Thus the consultancy Thinkstep has shown that today’s global greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by as much as 21% by the deployment of LNG as a ship fuel – compared to current oil-based marine fuels and over the entire life cycle, that is to say from well to wake. The results also confirmed that emissions of other local pollutants, such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter, are close to zero when using LNG compared with current conventional oil-based marine fuels.
SEA \ LNG chairman Peter Keller interpreted the report as “a long-awaited piece of the puzzle concerning LNG as a marine fuel.” LNG can thus definitely make a key contribution to the International Maritime Organization’ greenhouse gas reduction targets, he believes. What this means in terms of engine technology is that emissions can be substantially reduced by ships powered by LNG-driven engines instead of heavy fuel oil. The savings come to between 14% and 21% for two-stroke slow-speed engines, and between 7% and 15% for four-stroke medium-speed engines. 72% of marine fuel is consumed by two-stroke engines today. The comprehensive deployment of LNG would thus definitely bring substantial benefits all round.