Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen are viewed as frontrunners to be the fuels that will help shipping reach IMO decarbonisation ambitions, according to a new survey conducted by classification and technical advisory service provider ABS earlier in October.
LNG was the solution to the 2050 emissions target for 47% of respondents to the ABS Future Fuels LinkedIn Survey, while hydrogen was the answer for 40%. Just 8% opted for ammonia and 5% for methanol.
LNG was again the dominant fuel option to get the industry to 2030 targets, securing the support of 64% of respondents, against 22% for hydrogen and 7% each for ammonia and methanol.
The results illustrate the challenges facing shipowners in developing fleets that meet and exceed IMO targets.
“Owners of internationally trading ships are facing increasingly complex investment decisions as they try to navigate the most efficient course to the low-carbon future, which is why ABS has moved to simplify the landscape by identifying three fuel pathways potentially open to shipping,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.
“The first pathway is defined as ‘Light Gas’, using generally light, small molecule fuels with high energy content, but more demanding, mainly cryogenic fuel supply systems and storage. This group includes the relatively mature methane (as LNG) solution leading towards bio-derived or synthetic methane, and ultimately to hydrogen as fuel,” said Wiernicki.
“On this pathway, if methane slip is discounted, LNG can reduce GHG emissions by approximately 20%; bio-methane can be carbon neutral, while hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel. Hydrogen can serve as the ultimate solution along this pathway, but it will necessitate significant technical advances, which may require a decade or more, until it becomes a practical solution.
“The second pathway is defined as ‘Heavy Gas’, by using generally heavier, more complex molecules, but with less demanding fuel supply and storage requirements than the light gas pathway. This group includes LPG, methanol and ethanol, leading to bio-derived or synthetic LPG/methanol and ultimately to ammonia.
He added: “On this pathway, methanol can reduce CO2 by approximately 10 percent, while bio-methanol can be carbon neutral, and ammonia is a zero-carbon fuel. While ammonia shows considerable promise as a fuel, the technology for its application still needs to be developed, and regulations must account for its particular safety considerations.
“The third pathway hinges on bio/synthetic fuels that are derived from renewable sources and can produce liquid fuels. These fuels have similar properties to diesel oil and thus are much less demanding in terms of new infrastructure and technologies onboard and can be utilized with minimal changes to current ship designs.
In the future, a third generation of biofuels, such as lignocellulosic or algae-based fuels could potentially provide the industry with almost 500 million tons of fuels annually, more than the current annual bunker demand. This group includes electro/synthetic Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuels produced though either carbon capture and electrolysis, or from converting biomass to syngas and then to liquid fuels such as methanol or diesel.”
But which particular pathway makes sense for a shipowner to focus on will depend on the operational profile and trade of the vessel, cautioned Wiernicki.
“In all likelihood, the fleet of the future will be fuelled by a variety of choices, including oil, that will be selected depending on the owner’s operational preferences,” he said. “Although we are fuel and technology agnostic, ABS focuses on working across the board to help owners not only reach their decarbonisation and sustainability targets but hit them successfully, while maintaining a laser focus on safety.”
Photo credit: ABS
Published: 28 October, 2020
Universal Alliance, BMS United, Digiland International, Goodwood Associates, Southernpec (Singapore), and Taigu Energy were involved in alleged circular fictitious trades of fuel oil during July 2015.
Bunker orders of ISO 8217:2010 spec LS 380 cSt 0.5% for Nord Gemini, Nord Titan, Ocean Rosemary, and Luzern were placed through global commodities trading and logistics house Trafigura Pte Ltd.
While Covid-19 concerns are important, Captain Rahul Choudhuri was quick to note this does not mean bunker fuel related issues have indeed disappeared from the shipping sector.
‘Therefore, representing the players of the Malaysian bunker industry, we sincerely hope that this matter can be refined and reconsidered immediately so that all parties benefit together,’ says communication.
Maureen Poh, a Director of Helmsman LLC, offers plain practical tips on the differences between US and EU Sanctions and shares some thoughts on what companies could do if they are potentially exposed to sanctioned entities.
‘We [Consort Bunkers] have the opinion that the bunker business in Singapore is not related to the widely reported earlier cargo commodity trading mishaps,’ company source tells Manifold Times.