The shipping industry has put a lot of money into compressed natural gas as a bridge fuel between traditional fuel oil and whatever comes next, whether it’s methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, or something else. Ship owners have spent billions of dollars changing their ships so that they can run on liquefied natural gas.
How the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and a possible global carbon tax, which the International Maritime Organization wants to be in place by 2027, handle greenhouse gas emissions from the life cycle of natural gas will have a big effect on the outcome of shipping’s huge investment.
Methane Leakage Rates Gas And Coal Emissions Intensity Study
Concerns have been made about the natural gas liquid (LNG) fuel choice. In several recent building projects, LNG has been replaced by methanol. A new study that came out on Monday brought up more worries about natural gas as a bridge fuel.
The study’s authors, who came from places like Harvard, Brown, NASA, and Duke, stressed the importance of methane leaks throughout the entire natural gas value chain.
The study concluded that at certain methane leakage rates, the benefits of gas do not outweigh those of coal, as indicated by numerous scenarios. The assessments of satellites and high-altitude planes show that gas leakage rates are equivalent to coal emissions intensity.
Deborah Gordon, a professor at Brown University and one of the authors, told The New York Times that even small methane leaks make natural gas “as bad as coal” and that it “can’t be considered a good bridge or substitute.”
Many Are Now Playing a Game of Wait-and-See
Most people think that liquid natural gas (LNG) is the best ship fuel to use in the short term.
Adam Kent, the managing director of Maritime Strategies International (MSI), stated that the technology and operations of the system have already been established and proven, and there is also existing bunkering infrastructure onshore.
When LNG is more expensive than fuel oil, as it has been in the past few years, shipowners with dual-fuel designs can keep using traditional marine fuel.
Uncertainty Surrounding LNG and Dual-Fuel Technology
The fact that future laws about LNG are not clear is a downside. Fewer orders for new ships mean that there is less faith in LNG-powered plans to “future-proof” ships. The study that came out this week could hurt confidence even more.
Kent stated that the general uncertainty surrounding fuels and technologies is undoubtedly causing certain owners in the dry bulk and tanker industries to refrain from placing orders for new vessels.
Many people are currently observing and evaluating the outcomes of those who have already adopted dual-fuel technology. They are also closely monitoring the reliability of this technology, as well as the accessibility and cost of lower-carbon fuels.
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Finally, the use of LNG as a fuel for ships could provide significant environmental benefits and help the industry meet regulatory requirements. Do you enjoy reading daily logistics and transportation news? Lading Logistics provides daily updates on the latest Logistics and Trucking industry trends. It also provides transportation, storage, and inventory administration, among other services.