IMO picks DNV for North American ECA LNG study

LNG bunkeringJUNE 18, 2013 — DNV says that it has been chosen by IMO (International Maritime Organization) to gather knowledge about the potential of LNG powered international shipping in the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) and to identify the necessary conditions for the successful implementation of LNG as a fuel source in the region.

Natural gas is a widely available fuel across North America, but availability of LNG is limited, as the demand and supply side are waiting for each other, partly held up by logistical problems. The big investment decisions that have to be made related to LNG as a fuel are not made easier by the uncertainty and guesswork currently surrounding the feasibility of LNG as a fuel.

"In developing LNG as an alternative fuel for short sea shipping, we foresee significant market opportunities for manufacturers, ship designers, and yards with focus on LNG technology," says Tony Teo, DNV's Technology and Business Director in the U.S. "DNV's involvement in research and innovation in LNG supply, storage, engines and emission issues has demonstrated that ship safety, market mechanisms, and operational regularity can be maintained when operating ships on LNG. But there are many variables and risks that have to be assessed and managed first, and we hope this study will contribute to this."

To provide actionable intelligence and insight, a number of topics have to be addressed as part of the feasibility study:

  • Key trends for international shipping services in the North American ECA
  • Ship types and routes
  • Current and planned LNG infrastructure
  • Mapping the regulatory regime
  • Environmental benefits
  • Assessment of technology readiness
  • Key enablers

The report will be delivered to the IMO in October, and be used as decision making support to remove some of the obstacles identified in the report.

DNV's most recent work on LNG in the U.S. includes assisting the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSF) with safety, security assessment and operational planning for LNG fueled ferries.

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