Investing in liquefied gas-fueled tankers is a sustainable investment for the future
When the Gothenburg based shipowner company Furetank had to make a decision about which fuel to invest in, they opted for liquefied gas. A choice they’re very happy with today. The company is continuing the switch to gas and replacing their old tankers. The change has resulted in positive effects on Furetank’s employer brand and decreased the company’s environmental impact.
Furetank is a shipowner company that also provides technical, safety, crewing and commercial management services to external partners, mainly within the petroleum industry. In addition, Furetank is the founding partner of commercial joint venture Gothia Tanker Alliance and they operate around 30 tankers today.
For Furetank, the shift towards liquefied gas began in 2015, which was influenced by numerous factors.
“We transport products for clients such as Preem, Neste, Groupa Lotus, ST1, BP and other major oil companies. As these companies are very cautious about the security of transportations, they will not normally hire any tanker older than 20 years. This means that we must update our fleet regularly,” says Lars Höglund, operator and owner of Furetank.
The need to update the company’s fleet combined with new regulation implemented for sulfur emissions in the Baltic Sea as well as the rising prices of oil-based fuels made Furetank consider utilizing gas. This decision was further assisted by the financial support that the European Union offered for shipping companies that converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied biogas (LBG). Today, seven of Furetank’s 30 tankers runs on liquefied gas.
Liquefied gas improved working conditions as well as competitiveness
The switch to liquefied gas caused some immediate positive effects. According to Höglund the staff especially appreciated the change as the air quality and smell changed for the better in the tankers. This also had a noticeable benefit on Furetank’s employer brand, especially among young people.
“Working conditions improved immediately, which was great. Other positive effects include the competitive price of LNG as well as Gasum’s investments in expanding the gas infrastructure,” Höglund adds. “However, the most important benefit is the reduction in Furetank’s environmental impact.”
The use of LNG reduces CO2 emissions by at least 20% compared to traditional heavy fuel oil. In addition, LNG removes other harmful emissions such as sulfur and particulate emissions and lowers nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85%.
“Environmental issues are important for our employees and we are ambitious in our sustainability targets. In addition to the positive impact LNG has on the environment, it’s also a major competitive advantage for us as environmental issues are increasingly important for our clients as well,” Höglund points out.
Höglund believes that liquefied gas is a sustainable long-term solution for the marine industry. As the same gas infrastructure can be used for natural gas and biogas even further emission reductions can be achieved in the future. At the moment, Furetank is already using some biogas in their fuel-mixes and the company aims to increase this in the future.
“The shipping industry should endeavor to create as much impact as they can here and now. There’s still a possibility that we can make a difference to climate change. It’s a waste of an opportunity to not do everything we can right now and shift to cleaner fuels that are already available,” Höglund finishes.