Following a world survey of the marine industry, Zeus Development Corporation has identified 63 LNG-fueled ships in operation or under development, up from 48 units last December.
These ships do not include more than 300 tankers that also consume LNG.
June 6-7, Zeus will host an LNG-Fueled Marine Advancements meeting to present the survey, review trends and tour a unique new LNG-turbine propulsion system by GE.
“Accelerating growth is what you would expect under these circumstances. What surprised us is the rate,” Tom Campbell, LNG-fuel analyst at Zeus, said. “High oil prices, impending emissions regulations and technical advancements are propelling the market faster than we expected.”
A key factor is International Maritime Organization Tier III emissions standards, which are slated to take effect in 2015-2016. The regulations require operators to reduce sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions. For existing ships, after-exhaust treatment is proving more popular, but for newbuilds, operators are taking advantage of LNG’s unique properties.
“As LNG is better understood, architects are able to design ships specifically for LNG storage and propulsion,” Campbell said. “Firms such as Wärtsilä now offer integrated onboard fuel delivery systems and power units for shipbuilders.“
Zeus’ survey finds that LNG usage is growing beyond coastal ferries in Europe and offshore service vessels for the oil and gas industry, to large cruise ferries and container vessels while expanding geographically from Europe to North America and Asia. Currently projects underway in Belgium, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and elsewhere have made efforts to offer LNG bunkering and incentives to support LNG-fueled marine technology.
Representatives from the following companies will attend the Houston meeting June 6-7: Argent Marine, Bestobell, Caterpillar, Chaney LNG Engineering, CH-IV, Cheniere Energy, DNV, Freeport LNG, General Dynamics, GE, Honeywell, Huntington Ingalls, Idemitsu Kosan, IPR-GDF SUEZ, J.E. McKechnie, John W. Stone Oil, Lake Michigan Carferry, Lockheed Martin, Longbow Technology, MAN Diesel, Martin Energy, Puget Sound Energy, Repsol, RRJ Management, Shell, Taylor Wharton, Tidewater and Wärtsilä.
LNG World News Staff, May 16, 2012; Image: Wärtsilä