In 2012 DNV presented its Shipping 2020 publication predicting 1000 vessels sailing on LNG by 2020. Now DNV GL, the world’s largest classification society, still believes this will be the case, Matthé Bakker, Head of Solutions DNV GL in the Netherlands, told LNG World News in an interview.
DNV GL released a report in March saying that there are 48 LNG-fuelled ships in operation worldwide and 53 confirmed LNG-fuelled newbuilds. “If you look at the total confirmed projects it’s still in line with our predictions and, although there are a lot of factors that influence developments, we are very optimistic for LNG as ship fuel in the future,” Bakker said.
A majority of these ships are classed by DNV GL and the company “is still receiving a good amount of requests for new studies,” according to Bakker.
Dutch LNG-fuelling market
Apart from classification, DNV GL is also working on several other projects related to the LNG-fuelling market in the Netherlands. “The initiatives are mostly on the supply side,” Bakker said while summing up a number of the initiatives:
“Vopak and Gasunie recently took the decision to build an LNG bunkering terminal (LBBR terminal) which will be located next to the Gate terminal in the Port of Rotterdam.” Bomin Linde is also developing an LNG bunker terminal in the Port of Rotterdam and the project is currently“in the permit phase.” Rotterdam-based Argos is developing an LNG bunkering vessel to provide LNG as a fuel to inland shipping and marine,” Bakker said.
Several initiatives are starting to develop through the LNG Masterplan for Rhine – Main –Danube. Recently GIE, NGVA, as well as the WPCI published maps indicating small-scale LNG activities in Europe.
“Also, there are numerous developments in the LNG truck fuelling market in the Netherlands, and beside the existing infrastructure for truck fuelling, new projects are being planned, which include big players like Shell and GDF Suez,” Bakker added.
LNG safety and benefits
“LNG has certain risks, but if you know the risks and manage them properly, it is not any more dangerous than any other hazardous material or fuel,” according to Bakker.
LNG as a ship fuel provides a lot of benefits as it reduces sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions by between 90 and 95 percent, as well as nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions to comply with IMO Tier III limits. Also, LNG’s lower carbon content leads to a reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 20 to 25 percent.
From an operational point of view, shipowners can benefit because “gas engines are much cleaner compared to engines that run on diesel,” Bakker said.
“LNG as a fuel is very promising as a part of the energy mix, and although there might be a delay in its development, DNV GL has no doubt that it will manage to establish itself,” he concluded.