Currently, there are fewer than 10 ocean-capable, U.S.-flagged LNG-fueled ships, but at least 8 are set to be launched over the next 3 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Recent announcements in the U.S. and globally of orders for, or completions of, LNG-fueled vessels suggest “growing interest” in LNG as a maritime fuel, EIA said in its weekly report last week.
According to EIA, there are several reasons shipowners are choosing the chilled fuel.
One of the main reasons is that “LNG prices remain below petroleum-product prices in energy-equivalent terms,” despite the rapid fall in crude oil prices since the second half of 2014.
Furthermore, because of “tightening U.S. and international maritime emissions standards, shipping fleet operators may adopt relatively cleaner-burning LNG as a fuel instead of distillate,” EIA said.
EIA added that “this is especially true for vessels that frequent regions—including most of the U.S. and Canadian coastline—designated as Emission Control Areas by the International Maritime Organization.”
Current fleet of LNG-powered vessels in the United States includes two containerships owned by TOTE Maritime, and Harvey Gulf’s three offshore supply vessels currently chartered to Shell. TOTE has signed a deal to convert two more of its vessels to run on LNG, while Harvey Gulf has three more vessels under construction.
Besides the vessels already running on LNG, there are several vessels built with consideration for the use of LNG propulsion in the future.
Out of 15 vessels on order at General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard and Philly Shipyard, three have been delivered to Crowley and two have been delivered to American Petroleum Tankers with the rest to follow in the next few years.
LNG World News Staff