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LNG Bunkering

Singapore hosts Asia’s first ISO meeting for LNG as a marine fuel

Convenor of ISO working group speaks to Manifold Times about how LNG can help shipowners save money today and in the foreseen future.




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Singapore hosted the first meeting in Asia of a Working Group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop a new standard for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel on 13-14 of March.

“It’s the fifth meeting of the TC28/SC4/WG17 working group and I wanted to have it in Asia because there are so many stakeholders and players from the marine industry in the region,” Dr Marc Perrin, Convenor of the ISO working group told Manifold Times.

“It’s very important to have participation from Asia and we are so glad to have input from Singapore and South Korea; unfortunately, no representatives could come from China and Japan because of too short time since their registration but it’s a good step and likely we will have another meeting next year in Asia.”

Dr Perrin, who is also the Independent Consultant for ENGIE Lab CRIGEN, noted developments in the policy and planning sectors from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and European Union (EU) to favour shipowners adopting LNG as a marine fuel in the long run, due planned NOx emissions limitation and expected carbon taxes.

The IMO mandatory fuel consumption data collection system for international shipping affecting vessels above 5,000 GT is due to start from 2019.

The EU MRV (Monitoring, Reporting, Verification) which requires ship owners and operators to annually monitor, report and verify CO2 emissions for vessels larger than 5,000 GT calling at any EU and EFTA (Norway and Iceland) port has already started since 1 January 2018. 

“The recording of carbon emissions data is the first step to go for CO2 emissions regulation for the shipping industry. Taxes on carbon emissions will come; though there is not yet any deadline but it is under discussions and I am sure it will come,” confirms Dr Perrin.

“So I think if the maritime industry wants a long term solution it should also consider CO2 emissions.

“It will be an additional advantage for LNG as already presently when you go for LNG as a marine fuel, you are sure to meet the 2020 sulphur cap and the coming nitrogen oxide (NOx) cap.

“And indeed the last step will be CO2; you will be making a good choice in the long term when choosing LNG for these three reasons.

“Right now they have started this and in the future when the shipping industry needs to report the carbon emissions and when you need to pay a carbon tax this is where LNG will really shine.”

In 2016, the International Monetary Fund called for a carbon tax on aviation and shipping to help deliver global climate goals by proposing a charge of $30 a tonne on carbon dioxide embedded in international transport fuels.

LNG emits 0.05 metric tonnes (mt) CO2 per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy, compared to 0.07 mt for diesel fuel and heating oil, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

“In addition, it takes more energy to produce low sulphur heavy fuel oil [that is able to comply with the 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuel coming 2020] than conventional fuel oil,” adds Dr Perrin.

“Additional carbon dioxide is produced when exhaust gas de-sulphurisation and de-nitrification are required for fuel oil technologies; this treatment is not necessary for exhaust gases from LNG.

“So LNG is really the fuel of choice for the future!”

Published: 17 April, 2018

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LNG Bunkering

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding launches LNG-fuelled Ro-Ro vessel “Trans Harmony Green”

Ship’s main engine and main generator engine are high-performance dual-fuel engines each accommodating LNG or diesel fuel.





Mitsubishi Shipbuilding launches LNG-fuelled Ro-Ro vessel “Trans Harmony Green”

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group company based in Yokohama, Friday (7 June) held a christening and launch ceremony for the TRANS HARMONY GREEN, the first of two LNG-powered roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) ships under construction for Toyofuji Shipping Co., Ltd. 

The ceremony took place at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture. 

The ship's handover is scheduled for late January 2025 following completion of outfitting work and sea trials. The TRANS HARMONY GREEN will serve as a RO/RO vessel on shipping routes in Asia.

Trans Harmony Green vessel

The TRANS HARMONY GREEN is approximately 195 metres in overall length, approximately 30.6 metres in breadth, and has gross tonnage of approximately 49,500. It can simultaneously transport about 3,000 passenger cars. 

The ship's main engine and main generator engine are high-performance dual-fuel engines each accommodating LNG or diesel fuel. 

Together these engines enable a greater than 25% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, cutting SOx (sulphur oxides) emissions to near zero, thereby helping to reduce the vessel's environmental footprint.


Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 10 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to supply LNG fuel gas supply systems units to Imabari Shipbuilding

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding received an order from Imabari Shipbuilding for two additional units of its FGSS, a LNG fuel gas supply system for high-pressure dual-fuel marine engines.





Mitsubishi Shipbuilding to supply LNG fuel gas supply systems units to Imabari Shipbuilding

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group company based in Yokohama, on Wednesday (5 June) said it has received an order from Imabari Shipbuilding for two additional units of its Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS), a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel gas supply system for high-pressure dual-fuel marine engines. 

The FGSS units for two LNG-fuelled bulk carriers to be built by Imabari Shipbuilding will be continuously delivered with LNG fuel tanks from summer 2025.

LNG fuel tank

LNG fuel tank

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding previously received orders for a total of 18 high-pressure FGSS units, including units for SWEET PEA LEADER and DAISY LEADER, both of which are LNG-fuelled car carriers built by Imabari Shipbuilding Group and have already entered into service respectively in October 2023 and in March 2024. 

The FGSS ordered by Imabari Shipbuilding features an optimised cargo space layout utilising a modular design for space-saving and maintenance access, shortened construction schedule at shipyards, and a proprietary control system that can be customised according to customer needs, contributing to both operability and safety. 

With this additional order, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will supply a total 20 units (15 car carriers and 5 bulk carriers) to Imabari Shipbuilding Group.

“Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, as part of MHI Group's strategic initiatives for energy transition, will provide FGSS units to a broad range of customers involved in the construction of LNG-fuelled vessels, enhancing the added value and competitiveness of ships,” it said on its website. 


Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 7 June 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Study reveals achievable pathway to net-zero in Pilbara-to-Asia export trade through LNG bunker fuel

RINA completed a joint study with Pilbara Clean Fuels and Oceania Marine Energy revealing that Well-to-Wake emissions in Pilbara-to-Asia iron ore export trade route can be reduced by over 90% by 2050 through use of LNG.





RESIZED william william on Unsplash

Classification society RINA on Wednesday (5 June) announced it completed a joint study with Pilbara Clean Fuels Pty Ltd and Oceania Marine Energy that revealed that Well-to-Wake emissions in the Pilbara-to-Asia iron ore export trade route can be reduced by over 90% by 2050 through the use of LNG.

RINA added that Western Australia is the largest producer of iron ore in the world, with current production of over 850 million tonnes per annum, the majority of which is exported from the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The following are the details of the study:

Key developments

- Pilbara Clean Fuels (PCF) is pursuing the development of an electrified LNG plant in Port Hedland, Western Australia aimed at producing low-carbon LNG marine bunker fuel. 

- Oceania Marine Energy (Oceania) is developing a marine fuel bunkering business using purpose-designed LNG re-fuelling vessels to be chartered from Kanfer Shipping, Norway. 

- RINA has developed an innovative concept for an LNG-fuelled 209,000 DWT Newcastlemax dry bulk carrier design incorporating pre-combustion carbon removal and hydrogen production to meet IMO 2050 Carbon Intensity Index (CII) requirements over the ship’s operating life.      

In November 2023 PCF, Oceania and RINA signed an MoU to collaborate on studies to define the commercial and emissions reduction benefits their combined concepts could deliver to ship owners and charterers for the Pilbara to Asia dry-bulk minerals export trade route. The Joint Study has now been completed. 

Study Findings

The findings demonstrate an accessible and achievable pathway to Net-Zero Emissions for LNG, on a Well-to-Wake basis, for international shipping on this trade. The study presents a flexible and commercially attractive IMO compliant marine fuel strategy to ship owners, operators and charterers amidst competing alternative fuel. It proposes a ‘Green Corridor’ marine fuels solution for the Western Australia to China bulk minerals export trade route. 

Achieving Emissions Reduction 

The low-carbon LNG plant by Pilbara Clean Fuels has the potential to initially produce LNG with emissions of less than 200kg of GHG per tonne, which can be further reduced to around 50kg/t LNG (and potentially to zero through technology improvements).  

LNG bunkering in the Pilbara region offers a substantial voyage optimization by eliminating the need to deviate to other major bunkering hubs in the region, thus significantly reducing emissions. This also reduces by 25% the emissions associated with transporting LNG over long distances, compared to LNG bunkering in other ports and ensures competitive pricing for LNG.  

RINA’s bulk-carrier ship concept features a novel propulsion arrangement which achieves a fuel saving of 12% when running on LNG at current market speeds and offers the charterer greater fuel flexibility and enhanced economic benefits by reducing LNG consumption. This can lead to lower fuel running costs, particularly when compared with traditional fuel oil. 

It provides redundancy, significantly reducing the risk of black out, and does not suffer from well-known issues like acceleration through engine’s barred speed range. The ship can also harvest the benefits from wind propulsion. 

The proposal is flexible in fuel selection and, most importantly, the use of hydrogen produced on board is on demand. This concept, which produces carbon dioxide that is captured and stored onboard, can be delivered price-competitive as it has been designed to retrofit emissions-reduction equipment in stages to suit the owners’ requirements. The design allows charterers to modify the vessels with modular hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage (CCS) equipment to meet GHG compliance as needed.  

The bunker vessel design incorporates a hybrid energy system, including an 8MWh battery, allowing for emission free operation in port. This, alongside the onboard CGR-designed process plant for vapour recovery and re-liquefaction, significantly reduces emissions and enhances operational efficiency.  

The CO2 generated from onboard pre-combustion hydrogen production can economically be integrated into the large volume CCS hubs currently being developed in the Pilbara region by various third-party proponents. 

The combination of systems and technologies allows LNG-fuelled dry-bulk carriers to significantly reduce emissions today and to comply with the IMO 2023 GHG Reduction Strategy through to 2050. 

The study concludes that by implementing this holistic combined systems approach, Well-to-Wake emissions for the Pilbara to Asia export shipping industry can be reduced by more than 90% by 2050. The reduction of GHG emissions is achieved by progressively decreasing the LNG fuel share to the engines while proportionately increasing hydrogen usage. 

This allows for staged upgrades over the vessel’s lifetime to comply with the IMO requirements for continuously reducing GHG emissions. The ship-owner to decide which path to follow to stay ahead of compliance and competition. All necessary technologies for achieving Net Zero Emissions with LNG as a marine fuel already exist and are in use, marking the first time they have been proposed in combination, demonstrating a positive path to Net Zero Emissions for international shipping.  

The Joint Study results present a significant opportunity for decarbonising shipping in the Pilbara region and beyond, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change. 

Related: Hexagon Energy and Oceania ink MoU on low-emissions ammonia bunkering in Pilbara region
Related: Oceania Marine Energy and Pilbara Clean Fuels sign MoU for LNG marine fuel bunkering
Related: Pilbara Clean Fuels receives preliminary results of studies on eLNG plant project in Port Hedland
Related: Australia: McGowan Government advancing to establish LNG bunkering hub in Pilbara


Photo credit: william william on Unsplash
Published: 7 June 2024

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