When considering liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered newbuildings, the industry should consider several fundamentals, advises the Opportunity Manager of LNG Fuels, at Australian oil and gas company Woodside.
“Owners with the right fundamentals for LNG-fuelled vessels are well placed to take advantage of the benefits of LNG as fuel,” said Craig Jennings at the Singapore-held 4th LNG Marine Fuel Forum.
According to Jennings, the availability challenge for LNG as marine fuel is being reduced with the growth in bunkering infrastructure, but can be solved by using the product for vessels that regularly return to a home port for refuelling.
Viability of the business case also can be ensured if the vessel has a stable long-term trading route, and LNG logistics costs can be minimised if vessels can leverage existing LNG infrastructure for bunkering operations.
Shipowners who are able to order more LNG-fuelled newbuildings at once can also capitalise on economics of scale to get cheaper rates.
“The CMA CGM deal has all of these features, while the strong uptake of LNG for newbuild cruise ships is also partly driven by these features as well,” he notes.
“We need to be looking at which trades have these features and gradually look to introduce LNG-fuelled vessel operations to them.
Meanwhile, Jennings says Woodside has been working on introducing LNG as marine fuel to the bulk trading route between North Asia and Western Australia where about 400 bulk carriers, consuming a total of around 5 million metric tonnes (mt) of fuel oil bunkers, are involved.
“Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore and the current iron ore trade will continue for many decades to come,” he shares.
“Recognising this opportunity, Woodside together with DNV GL and other stakeholders formed the 'Green Corridor' to develop an LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax design.
“We have demonstrated technical feasibility of the design, and also demonstrated there is sufficient room to fit the LNG tanks so as not to affect the bulker’s carrying capacity.”
The 'Green Corridor' project, in addition to Woodside and DNV GL, also includes BHP, Fortescue, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Rio Tinto, SDARI, and U-Ming.
Manifold Times in March reported Woodside participating in another LNG-fuelled 250,000 dwt class very large ore carrier (VLOC) project managed by classification society Lloyd’s Register.
Photo credit: Woodside
Published: 11 September, 2018
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