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JBC Energy: IMO decision spells end for traditional bunker fuels

18 Apr 2018

An agreement by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) targeting a cut in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the shipping sector of 50% by 2050 looks “rather ambitious”, according to a recent market report by oil & gas market independent research firm JBC Energy.

“There might still be a long time to reach the goal, but there is no obvious path to completion,” it says.

The report, citing internal calculations, says a switch to using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as marine fuel which has a CO2 emission factor of approximately 27% lower than fuel oil will not by itself be enough to meet IMO’s goal by 2050.

“Assuming the extreme case that the entire shipping fleet switches to LNG, while the global energy demand from shipping continues to rise steadily, a significant reduction of CO2 emissions is achieved,” it notes.

“However, the scenario remains some 350 million tonnes per annum short of the target.

“Hence, the industry will have to find additional ways to cut CO2 emissions, such as efficiency gains, carbon capture and storage, hybrids, and batteries.”

The development is something the IMO has recognised as it specifically talks about phasing out carbon emissions altogether sooner rather than later, it explains.

“It is likely that LNG will play an important role as soon as the first regulations based on the initial strategy come into force, probably in the middle of the next decade,” it forecasts.

“A lot will depend on the IMO roadmap which will be decided upon in 2023.

“For the oil industry, there is a lot at stake in the long term, as the entire bunker fuels (fuel oil, gasoil, and gasoline) demand of over 5 million b/d would effectively cease to exist.”

Related: IMO: Nations adopt 50% GHG reduction strategy at MEPC72

Photo credit: JBC Energy
Published: 18 April, 2018

 

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