LNG for maritime

A clean and cost-effective alternative, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is rapidly gaining ground in maritime transport.

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The shipyards are now loaded with LNG

Shipyard order books are filling up with vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). News from the investment front are boosting confidence in the future. LNG can be used to fuel passenger ships, car ferries, bulk carriers, tankers, service vessels and container ships. The use of LNG helps cut maritime transport emissions locally as well as globally.

Reports on low emissions bring messages about the new waves currently rolling in the shipping industry. Representatives of shipping companies and shipyards describe the development as a breakthrough of clean technology and a major leap into the future. Some are even talking about entirely new standards for the maritime sector.

The engines of change are being fueled up by the 0.5% sulfur content cap enforced globally from 2020. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set the target of reducing shipping emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. The vision is to totally phase out emissions from international shipping as soon as possible this century.

Ship-to-ship bunkering enables easy use of LNG

The prime mover for the new clean era is LNG, with great strides having been made in its value chain in the Nordic countries.

The liquefaction of natural gas with renewable electrical energy and the progressive transport chain of the fuel to terminals and usage sites represent cutting-edge technological competencies. Ship-to-ship bunkering enables even more flexible access for ships to LNG.

An impressive number shipping companies and shipyards are taking the helm with LNG

  • Tallink Megastar has been sailing between Helsinki and Tallinn for more than two years now. The passenger ferry was the first cruise vessel delivered from the Meyer Turku shipyard that is fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). In 2020, Tallink will introduce another newbuild for the same route, this time built at the Rauma shipyard. After that, it is time for a new shuttle vessel.

  • Ordered by the Italian Costa Cruises, Costa Smeralda will head out for the high seas from Turku in October 2019. With capacity for more than 6,500 passengers, the cruise ship will be accompanied by a twin due to be delivered in 2021. The Turku shipyard is also building a cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Lines, scheduled to start service in Florida in 2020.

  • ESL Shipping’s bulk carrier Viikki is one of the LNG-powered ships already operating in the Baltic Sea. A 25% reduction in carbon dioxide and nitrogen emissions and virtually non-existent sulfur emissions speak for themselves. With the other innovative solutions taken into account, the cut in CO2 emissions is more than 50%.

  • Meyer is investing €185 million in the overhaul of facilities including its production line, with its aims being to become the world’s most modern shipyard and fulfil the demanding customer promises of the future.

  • Wärtsilä and Samsung Heavy Industries have signed a Joint Development Project (JDP) agreement to make more environmentally friendly and energy- and cost-efficient LNG carriers. Both enterprises foresee major growth potential in the LNG market.

Text by Vesa Vainio

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