SEA\LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition working to facilitate and accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, on 3rd August, urged the industry as a whole to redouble its commitment to compliance with, and enforcement of, IMO Marpol VI Regulations.
SEA\LNG recognises that the Port State Authorities have a clear obligation under the governing Treaties to ensure even handed and consistent enforcement of the IMO regulations. While enforcement has always been a difficult issue, now is the time for all IMO members to understand the importance of this regulation and ensure that it is implemented and enforced as envisioned.
The coalition acknowledged that today’s shipowners are operating in a challenging economic environment amid stringent and increasing environmental regulations. With a complex investment decision matrix of risks when considering how to comply with the global sulphur cap of 0.5% from 2020, shipowners must make decisions that remain viable into the future and make choices between a limited number of options; LNG, scrubbers, or low sulphur fuels.
SEA\LNG chairman Peter Keller commented: “Shipping has made significant progress in reducing its environmental impact from harmful emissions, but more needs to be done. All parties, especially the Port State Authorities must play their part. Effective and consistent enforcement, across all jurisdictions of the IMO emissions regulations, will be essential to ensure more environmentally friendly shipping and a level playing field for all shipping companies. Flag states and port authorities have a clear and key responsibility in ensuring compliance. If we do not collectively commit to compliance and enforcement, then we will continue to miss a tangible and viable opportunity to eradicate harmful emissions such as Sulphur Oxide (SOx), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), and Particulate Matter (PM). This seems unacceptable given the opportunity we have readily at hand.”
SEA\LNG added that in addressing the primary concerns of cost and compliance, LNG as a marine fuel provides a means of negating current and potential future local emissions challenges, and is a step in the right direction towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime transport.
Keller explained: “LNG far exceeds alternative options in terms of emissions reductions. It emits zero sulphur oxides (SOx) and virtually zero particulate matter (PM). Compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LNG emits 90% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) and through the use of best current practices and appropriate technologies to minimise methane leakage, offers the potential for up to a 25% reduction in GHGs. Advancements in dual fuel technology and propulsion, enhanced control systems, and future use of gas turbine technologies present further opportunity for increased GHG reductions.”
The energy transition is moving in a clear direction. The vast majority of the world’s top ten bunkering ports offer LNG bunkering or have firm plans to do so by 2020. As this LNG bunker market continues to develop, there is already a drive to meet demand for LNG as marine fuel at these and other critical locations. By the end of 2017, six LNG bunker vessels will be in operation – expanded from one at the start of the year. These vessels are key to scaling-up demand for LNG as a marine fuel and delivering fuel in a way that is “normal” for shipowners. Added to which, new bunkering hubs are developing which will leverage existing bulk LNG infrastructure.
Keller concluded: “LNG will be one of a portfolio of solutions going forward to help lower emissions, creating a more sustainable future for shipping. We recognise that there are barriers and limitations, but we are confident that by working together, we can overcome these hurdles as the industry has always done in the past. We do, however, require a greater sense of urgency and commitment.”
SEA\LNG’s membership, which spans the LNG value chain, stands at 28 organisations and continues to grow, highlighting the industry’s growing recognition of LNG as a cost effective, safe, and more environmentally friendly long-term fuelling solution.
The coalition is committed to uniting knowledge and expertise from across the value chain. It firmly believes that collaboration, demonstration, and communication on key areas such as safety, regulation, emissions and the economic case are essential to providing the confidence and demand required for an effective and efficient global LNG value chain by 2020.