Gas fuelled ships are a global solution, says GFS4 chairman

11 Sep 2013
Chairman Martin L Shaw gets the fourth Gas Fuelled Ships conference off to a flying start onboard the 'Viking Grace'

Chairman Martin L Shaw gets the fourth Gas Fuelled Ships conference off to a flying start onboard the 'Viking Grace'

The fourth Motorship Gas Fuelled Ships conference has begun, on the Viking Grace cruise ferry sailing out of Stockholm en route for Mariehamn and Turku. Day One chairman, Martin Shaw of MOAMS, introduced the conference with his view of the prospects of LNG as a GLOBAL maritime fuel for the future, adding a word to the conference title.

Mr Shaw reminded us that the success of LNG as ship fuel depends on several issues, which he assessed using a traffic light system First, economics, as against distillates and HFO/scrubbers. Last year there was a prediction, that on purely economic grounds, there should be 5,000 LNG fuelled ships now. But rge economics are still not definite, so an amber light. Looking at environmental drivers – the benefits for ECAs are a clear green light. Greenhouse gas – amber, because the industry is still awaiting IMO’s global decision. NOx, despite Norwegian efforts, is still amber. The existence of a global supply chain is still in development, though well under way, so another amber. Technology and regulation – very much in progress, much is already in place, but limited availability of capital for newbuilds and conversions holding thingsback, so amber. Undefined sentiment and caution – shipowners are cautious, various issues are still holding LNG back in many owners’ minds – so amber.

So, asked Mr Shaw, how do we give LNG the green light for the future?

Viking Line project manager for Viking Grace, deputising for the technical director, introduced the ship and spoke about the enormous interest shown in Viking Grace since entering service in Jan 2013. Experience shows that there has been good cooperation and open mindedness among all stakeholders, suggesting that benefits of LNG will be considerable.

With that, the conference sessions got underway, beginning with a regulatory update.

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