28 Oct 2015
The L[o]NG walk to cleaner fuels
By Rory Jackson
With MARPOL Annex VI just around the corner there are clear signposts of change to come within the fuel sphere. Many may argue that as a lesser contributor to green house emissions – when compared to energy supply and other such causes – the marine industry should be left well alone, at least for the time being. I would argue that being less to blame does not make you blameless, legally or morally. Conservatism, the curse of the short-sighted and those fearful of the future, must be circumvented by risk takers and visionaries. Fortune, after all, favours the bold.
Speaking at October’s Gastech, a conference for international oil, gas and energy professionals, Angus Campbell, managing director of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement UK (BSM), advocated the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a maritime fuel of the future, as well as declaring it a lucrative and prudent opportunity for entrepreneurs.
“Independent industry predictions indicate that the use of LNG as a bunker fuel offers opportunities for early movers to secure a market leading position ashore and afloat, and global LNG fuelling will become a mainstream option,” Campbell announced. “It has happened before,” he said. “Wind gave way to coal and coal in its turn gave way to oil. The move from oil to natural gas is simply the next progression.”
Disruptive changes of this nature have historically required large investments by forward thinking individuals and businesses. The industrial revolution, to use an obvious example, saw a step change from wood and other bio fuels to coal, as well as a shift from manual labour to machine manufacturing. The creation of these new machines and systems was not a cheap process, but the rewards for pioneers of the time were many.
Campbell noted that any shift towards LNG bunkering for maritime use will require the development of a sophisticated supply chain, dealing with simultaneous operations and other factors not traditionally associated with bunkering in the LNG sector.
“These are some of the factors that have driven BSM, working in partnership with Triton and Babcock LGE, to develop its own unique Gas Fuel Supply Vessel design which will support LNG fuelled ships, and the delivery of gas to small onshore facilities and large off-pipe consumers,” he said.
Campbell also highlighted that alternative methods, namely the use of distillate fuels and scrubbers simply do not have the benefits of LNG. “Distillate fuels are expensive and there is a likelihood that the price will increase due to demand as emission regulations are enforced. Scrubbers may seem a simple alternative but the cost benefit calculation is actually very complex – with no guarantee that this will be accepted as a long term method of emission reduction.”
The jury is still out on which alternative fuel will reign triumphant, but in the vein of Edison versus Tesla it is for innovators and investors to force the agenda until progress is realised.
Two focus groups at next month's Global Superyacht Forum will debate and discuss the latest in clean fuel technology. Click here to view the programme in full and secure your place by clicking here.
Add a comment
Other Products News
Tired of pushing buttons and handling myriad devices to control your on-board environment? Meet Josh, the artificial intelligence system that adds voice control to your home or yacht and learns your habits and patterns over time More
Northern Lights, the US-based marine power generation manufacturer, has recently acquired ISO:9001:2015 certification and agreed a strategic partnership with a well-known engine manufacturer More
A recent spate of lawsuits against personal watercraft manufacturers begs the question, can more be done to mitigate the risk of internal orifice injury? More
Previously, the functionality of the YachtEye experience had been limited by on board control systems, but the new API bridges the gap and makes YachtEye more universal More
Integrated Navigation Systems based on state-of-the-art technology and decades of experience in the superyacht industry. Ultimate knowledge and flexibility in system integration. Dedicated customer care throughout the whole project and beyond.
ATLAS MARINE SYSTEMS
Atlas Marine Systems, the world leader in the design of marine electrical power systems, offers a full range of engineering services necessary to define the onboard electrical distribution system or simply the application of the Atlas power conversion products.
ABB Marine and Ports
ABB is a leading supplier of electrical power and propulsion systems for ships. We provide innovative, safe and environmentally-friendly solutions and qualified services worldwide. Our AzipodÂ® propulsion has proven its efficiency and reliability on yacht vessels with its ultimate silent and ecological solution.
WREDE Consulting is an independent paint consultant and paint surveyor company who has worked for most of the 200 largest yachts worldwide in coating, paintwork and equipment areas. WREDE Consulting engages in quality management and objective quality assessment for the coating of mega- and superyachts. www.wrede-consulting.com
Jets Vacuum AS
Jets Vacuum has for over 30 years been the leading innovator in vacuum sanitation technology. With over 11,000 Jets systems in operation on all types of ships, Jets are known for high quality, flexible cost efficient solutions backed up by first class world wide service
Marlink offers seasonal, flexible contracts to match regional sailing requirements. Through our dedicated account managers & customer services, we develop personal relationships with customers & drive innovations to develop digital solutions & smart applications that take you beyond just connectivity.
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS is the Marine Industry Leader for Shore Power Conversion equipment ranging in power from 8kVA - 1000kVa.
Superyacht Tenders & Toys
Superyacht Tenders & Toys have a high level of expertise in providing new build and custom tenders, chase boats, RIBs & all popular yacht toys. With an unrivalled global service network, maintaining a personal & bespoke service, wherever you are in the world, Superyacht Tenders & Toys can help.