Comparison of Alternative Marine Fuels
Environmental regulations controlling emissions of SOx, NOx and Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are transforming the global shipping industry. Carbon-intensive, polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) can no longer remain the default option for ocean voyages.
To comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 1st January 2020 SOx regulations and announced future environmental targets, ship owners and operators must change the ways in which they power and fuel their fleets. Choosing which marine fuel to adopt is now a significant investment decision to be made amidst a range of uncertainties.
To support the industry in its decision-making process, SEA\LNG commissioned DNV GL to conduct a comprehensive study to assess the commercial and operational viability of alternative marine fuels. Based on existing academic and industry literature, the study evaluates how well six of the main alternative fuels (hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, LPG, biofuel, specifically Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil, and full battery-electric systems), perform compared to LNG and legacy HFO.
The study finds that LNG is the most mature, scalable, and commercially viable alternative fuel currently available for the maritime industry. Please click here to read our summary of the key study findings (updated 02/10/2019).
For further information, please see “Comparison of Alternative Marine Fuels” for the full findings of the study.
LNG as marine fuel - the investment opportunity
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a safe, mature, commercially viable marine fuel offering superior local emissions performance, significant Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction benefits and a potential pathway to a zero-emissions shipping industry.
To support shipowners and operators in analysing options in an informed way, while simultaneously providing a deeper analysis of the assumptions that go into the 2020 decision process, SEA\LNG commissioned this second in a series of independent studies by simulation and analytics experts Opsiana. To ensure the best possible data was available to Opsiana, SEA\LNG members contributed maritime expertise and current, timely background information to ensure a high level of creditability in the study and results. The study considered two PCTC trading scenarios using a 6,500 Car Equivalent Unit (CEU) vessel on the Atlantic Trade and an 8,000 CEU vessel on the Pacific Trade.
This study clearly indicates that LNG as a marine fuel delivers the best return on investment on a net present value (NPV) basis over a conservative 10-year horizon. The analysis shows fast paybacks from one to three years for the Atlantic Trade and below two years for the Pacific Trade.
For further information please see "LNG as marine fuel -the investment opportunity" for the full findings of the study.
Life Cycle GHG Emissions Study on the Use of LNG as Marine Fuel
While the environmental benefits of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG as the most promising alternative marine fuel are clear in relation to local pollutants such as sulphur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxide (NOX), and particulate matter (PM), various studies have demonstrated different GHG impacts from the use of LNG. These differences have resulted from the studies using different assumptions, methodologies and data.
SEA\LNG and SGMF commissioned this Well-to-Wake (WtW) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Lifecycle Research Study on the use of LNG as a marine fuel. Conducted by independent specialist consultants thinkstep, and reviewed by a panel of academic experts, it is the most accurate study of the life cycle GHG emissions and local pollutants from LNG as a marine fuel compared with current and post-2020 conventional marine fuels as it is done on a complete WtW basis.
For further information please see "Life Cycle GHG Emissions Study on the Use of LNG as Marine Fuel" for the full findings of the study.
LNG as a marine fuel - the investment opportunity
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a superior marine fuel providing the best option to improve air quality and is the only scalable marine fuel that advances shipping’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction objectives. To support shipowners and operators in analysing options in an informed way, while simultaneously providing deeper analysis of the assumptions that go into the 2020 decision process, SEA\LNG commissioned an independent study by simulation and analytics experts Opsiana.
The study is based on a newbuild 14,000 TEU container vessel plying its trade on an Asia-US West Coast (USWC) liner routing. The findings clearly indicate that LNG as a marine fuel also delivers the best return on investment on a net present value (NPV) basis over a conservative 10-year horizon, with fast payback periods ranging from one to two years.
For further information please see "LNG as a marine fuel - the investment opportunity" for the full findings of the study.
SEA\LNG: If 2018 was the tipping point for LNG as a marine fuel, 2019 will be the year of acceleration
2018 saw a sea-change in attitudes and actions towards Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. By March, of the 94 cruise ships on the global order-book, 18 under construction were LNG-powered. This represented 20% of all newbuildings for the cruise industry, but 25% of newbuilding capacity due to the size of the vessels ordered. The world’s first fully LNG-fuelled cruise ship, SEA\LNG member Carnival’s “AIDAnova” entered service in December with a further seven LNG-powered cruise ships ordered by Carnival to be operational by end 2022.
For further information please see "SEA\LNG: If 2018 was the tipping point for LNG as a marine fuel, 2019 will be the year of acceleration", which details the impressive journey of LNG as a marine fuel throughout 2018, and forecasts our expectations for the year ahead.
SEA\LNG: Why LNG represents a bridge of pragmatism on shipping's road to decarbonisation
Shipping in the invisible backbone of the global economy - accounting for approximately 90% of international trade - and is the most energy efficient way of moving goods. However there is growing pressure on the industry from governments and regulators, as well as changing expectations from customers and society at large, to contribute to meeting the 2°C and 1.5°C goals of the Paris climate accord. The challenge the industry faces is making the right investment decisions now to enable it to comply both with short-term local emissions regulations e.g. the IMO 2020 sulphur cap, and the long-term climate legislation under consideration by the IMO, while remaining economically competitive.
For further information please see "SEA\LNG: Why LNG offers a bridge of pragmatism on shipping's road to decarbonisation”, which outlines in detail how LNG as a marine fuel offers unrivalled potential as a bridging solution for achieving shipping’s short and long-term energy transition goals, with immediate local and GHG emissions benefits, compared to existing alternatives and other unproven technologies.
SEA\LNG: One year on – thoughts and reflections
For LNG to play a significant role as a marine fuel, it requires collaboration across the entire marine LNG value chain. We are proud that our members have been at the forefront of industry developments during 2017, which will continue through 2018 and the years ahead. As recognition of LNG as a viable, sustainable marine fuel gathers momentum, we anticipate the coalition will continue to expand with the addition of major shipping lines, bunkering companies, and ports from across the globe expected in the coming year.
For further information please see "SEA\LNG: One year on – thoughts and reflections,” which outlines in detail why LNG provides an essential solution for the long term, more detail on addressing the key barriers to uptake, and how SEA\LNG will work towards an effective global LNG value chain for cleaner maritime shipping.
SEA\LNG: Accelerating the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel
Ship owners, fuel suppliers, and other associated supply chain stakeholders will need to make major investments to comply with existing and forthcoming environmental regulations. By addressing the core issue; the fuel itself, LNG provides a viable solution for the long term. However, barriers need to be better understood and overcome if LNG is to reach its full potential.
These barriers include LNG infrastructure and market maturity; the lack of understanding of LNG’s benefits among end users, investors, governments and civil society; capital expenditure (capex) premiums for vessels and bunkering infrastructure; and fragmented and evolving regulations.
For further information please see "SEA\LNG: Accelerating the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel”.
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