Maritime transition to new energies
The maritime transport sector is continuing its transition to new sources of energy for ship propulsion, according to data from the analyst Clarkson Research Services.
Newbuilds are leading from the front. 63% of the GT tonnage ordered in 2022 belongs to ships that can be powered by alternative fuels. During the same period in 2020 and 2021, this percentage stood at around 30%. LNG continues to be the most-selected option, with 59% of all orders, compared to 28% in the same period of 2020.
The remaining percentage (4%) includes four containerships equipped to use methanol as their fuel and a series of tankers for the transport of liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), powered by the same fuel.
In addition, 26 ships have been ordered with batteries, to reduce energy consumption. ‘Upgradeable’ fuel options have also become a trend. At least 20 ships that will initially use LNG are projected for later conversion to methanol or ammonia propulsion.
One aspect deserves special consideration, however. Clarksons underlined the fact that the price of LNG is currently high, which makes it difficult to know how many ships with dual-fuel engines actually use gas as their fuel, or prefer the now considerably cheaper low-sulphur fuel oil. (sh)