A report just released by SEA-LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition advocating for LNG as a marine fuel, says that LNG-fueled vessels account for approximately 13% of the current newbuild order book, with estimates for 2021 and beyond showing continuing growth in many classes of vessels. Importantly, 2020 also saw the first uses of bio-LNG by deep-sea ocean vessels, reducing their carbon footprints.
The report outlines how LNG as a marine fuel has moved from being a niche option to a mainstream fuel of the future. Instead of avoiding making a decision and waiting for technologies to develop in the future, LNG enables ship owners to reduce emissions now while protecting the future.
With IMO decarbonization goals looming, SEA/LNG chairman Peter Keller, says owners face a binary choice for newbuilds in 2021: using LNG now, or retrofitting later.
According to SEA-LNG, bio-LNG is a “prime pathway to carbon neutrality,” and its gradual introduction alongside synthetic LNG will incrementally decarbonizse shipping towards the IMO’s 2050 targets.
As there is likely to be a basket of future marine fuels, comparison on a level playing field is critical. The report notes the need for lifecycle analysis with current data taking actual operational environments into account, and working with seafarers, ports and port communities is essential. Specifically, the industry must make decisions on future fuels on a well-to-wake basis, looking at total emissions throughout the lifecycle of a fuel.
Going LNG represents a positive step down the decarbonization pathway to carbon neutrality in marine fuels, says SEA/LNG.