The following is text of a news release from SEA/LNG:
(LONDON) — SEALNG, the multi-sector industry coalition aiming to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, strongly supports the decision of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to reaffirm the Jan. 1, 2020 implementation date of the 0.5 percent sulfur fuel limit. SEALNG also applauds the adoption of the amendment to MARPOL Annex VI for a carriage ban on non-compliant fuels for vessels without an approved equivalent arrangement to meet the sulfur limit – such as an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) – on March 1, 2020.
“We believe both actions provide greater certainty to shipowners considering newbuild and retrofit investment options in compliant marine fueling solutions such as LNG," said Peter Keller, SEALNG chairman and executive vice president of TOTE Inc. "This sends a strong message to the whole maritime industry, including fuel suppliers to be prepared to deliver compliant marine fuels.”
SEALNG also highlighted the central role of LNG, not only in complying with the 2020 global sulfur cap, but for its potential to help achieve the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) target for a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 – a sentiment supported by major flag states and shipowner organizations at MEPC 73 – and total emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050.
LNG far outperforms conventional marine fuels in terms of minimizing harmful air emissions and can significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. LNG emits zero sulfur oxides (SOx) and virtually zero particulate matter (PM). Compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LNG emits 90 percent less nitrogen oxides (NOx). Through the use of best practices and appropriate technologies to minimize methane leakage, realistic reductions of GHG by 10 to 20 percent compared with conventional fuels can be achieved.
“Improvements in marine propulsion systems continue to advance apace, with today’s engines already significantly ahead of previous years’ technologies," Keller said. "It is expected that these improvements will continue as OEMs concentrate on accelerating emissions performance. In combination with efficiency measures being developed for new ships in response to the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), LNG provides a viable and effective means of achieving the IMO’s target for a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, as well as longer term goals.”
LNG provides the shipping industry with the opportunity for a safe and scalable fuel to meet global marine energy demands. Bulk supply infrastructure for LNG already exists along the main shipping lanes today and LNG bunkering capacity is growing rapidly with 20 bunker vessels expected to be in service by 2020.
“Meeting the ambitious emissions targets set by the IMO requires unified action from the entire shipping industry, including shipowners, the supply chain, scientists, engineers and analysts,” Keller said. “Academic studies and other discussions that criticize the effectiveness of proven alternative fueling solutions such as LNG, but stop short of offering realistic alternatives, will only detract from genuine efforts to reach the IMO’s goals.”