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Study shows strong investment case for LNG as a containership fuel

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JANUARY 23, 2019 — The SEA\LNG coalition has just released an independent study revealing a strong investment case for LNG as a marine fuel in the container shipping market.

“We commissioned this study from independent simulation and analytics expert Opsiana to support shipowners and operators in analysing their investment opportunities in an informed way, while simultaneously providing deeper analysis of the assumptions that go into the 2020 decision process,” said TOTE Inc. Executive VP Peter Keller, who is SEA\LNG’s Chairman. “The study unequivocally shows that for this vessel type, on this trade route, LNG as a marine fuel 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.”

The results of the study, which analyzes the case of a newbuild 14,000 TEU container vessel operating on an Asia-U.S. West Coast (USWC) liner routing and compares six fuel pricing scenarios, challenge commonly held assumptions about the economic performance of LNG bunkers.

SEA\LNG says that the results are even more compelling given the investment scenarios are compiled and compared based on a route with very little voyage time (8%) in Emission Control Areas (ECAs). LNG is also demonstrated to be the best investment across a broad spectrum of business climates from strong freight markets with elevated vessel operating speeds to weak freight markets where slow steaming is employed.

The study indicates that LNG provides a greater ROI than alternative compliance solutions, including the installation of scrubbers, across 5 out of 6 of the fuel scenarios explored.

While this study focuses specifically on the investment case for LNG within a key liner trade route, SEA\LNG is collaborating with third parties on further independent research which will analyse the investment case for different vessel types and additional liner trade routes.

Keller concluded: “At a time when shipowners and operators deserve factual information with which to analyze options in an informed way, there have been too many unqualified assumptions about the investment case for LNG. While there remain many unanswered questions about the choice and prices of marine fuels going into 2020, SEA\LNG will continue its commercially-focused studies to provide authoritative intelligence regarding the investment case for LNG as a marine fuel for shipowners, shipyards, ports and wider stakeholders.”

Access the full investment case study HERE


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