LNG fuel best for USA, says DNV

23 Feb 2011
Kenneth Vareide, director of operations for DNV North America Maritime

Kenneth Vareide, director of operations for DNV North America Maritime

A new report from DNV, ‘Greener shipping in North America’, proposes that LNG is the most efficient and economical way to meet forthcoming air emissions requirements in the US and Canada.

The Environmental Control Areas (ECAs) come into force in August 2012 and will gradually be enforced along the North American coastlines. They will have full force in 2015 and 2016, leaving shipowners a limited number of options for modifications to their ships if they want to continue trade in North America.

DNV says its report is the first study of US and Canadian domestic shipping and recommendations to meet new environmental legislation for North America. It says that implementing LNG fuel on a significant portion of the fleet is the best and most cost-efficient solution for reducing environmental emissions in North America. Specifically, the use of LNG fuel for a ship would reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by 85-90%, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter by almost 100%, and it would result in 15-20% less greenhouse gas emissions.

The report covers: North American shipping statistics; new environmental legislation for ship emissions in North America; LNG’s economic performance; LNG’s environmental performance; LNG technology; LNG safety; and LNG availability

Says Kenneth Vareide, director of operations for DNV North America Maritime, “A LNG fuelled propulsion plant may add about $3.6 million to the cost of a typical domestic cargo ship, however, over the operating life of the vessel, at today’s gas rates, LNG fuel would save more than $4 million over scrubbers and $12 million for low sulphur fuel. LNG is particularly an attractive alternative for vessels with a fixed trading pattern, which should fit well with the biggest segments; ferries, offshore support vessels and tug/push boats. Besides, much of the coastal trade in the US is fixed in its trade pattern and we have been in contact with several companies that are considering LNG for newbuildings and conversions.”