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SEA\LNG: LNG a viable pathway to meeting IMO 2050 GHG targets

06 Mar 2019

SEA\LNG in late February released a statement promoting the use of LNG as a marine fuel heading into 2050. When stricter emission limits for the maritime industry apply:

SEA\LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition aiming to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, believes LNG is a viable pathway to meet the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) targets.

The maritime industry really has two broad but major environmental initiatives related to air emissions; dramatic improvement of global air quality, and reduction of GHGs.

Reinforcing the case for LNG as a marine fuel, SEALNG Chairman Peter Keller said: “In addition to immediate local air quality benefits, LNG offers a commercially viable long-term bridging solution to addressing the IMO GHG targets. LNG, in combination with efficiency measures being developed for new ships in response to the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), will provide a way of meeting the IMO’s target of a 40% decrease in GHG by 2030 for international shipping. In addition, there are clear technology pathways being developed which should allow further emissions savings to be realised. For example, today, mixing LNG with bioLNG (from biogas) as a ‘drop-in’ fuel significantly reduces GHG emissions. Longer term, ‘power-to-gas’ is a key technology with the potential to produce large volumes of renewable LNG.”

LNG far outperforms conventional marine fuels in terms of minimising local emissions to improve air quality and can significantly reduce GHG emissions. LNG emits zero sulphur oxides (SOx) and virtually zero particulate matter (PM) and compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LNG emits 90% less nitrogen oxides (NOx). Academic literature shows that realistic reductions of GHG by 10-20% are achievable, with a potential for 25% or more as technology develops over the coming years, compared with conventional oil-based fuels.

SEALNG together with SGMF has commissioned an independent study to establish the facts regarding GHG emissions from LNG as a marine fuel considering all emissions from well-to-wake for LNG and other fuels. This study is currently being reviewed by independent academics and SEALNG and SGMF expect to publish the results in April.

Future technologies that appear to have promise, safety, and scalability could be built upon marine fuel infrastructure for LNG and clearly indicate that it is inaccurate to conclude that LNG will not provide a pathway to meeting IMO 2050 GHG ambitions. LNG can and does solve the air quality issues the maritime industry has been working on for decades and sets a path forward to meet IMO GHG targets.

Photo credit: SEALNG
Published: 6 March, 2019

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