India to trial use of LNG as fuel for fishing boats

Illustration; Fishing boat; Image courtesy of Pixabay

India has reportedly decided to trial the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the fishing sector ahead of new marine fuel standards that start next year.

According to Reuters, the country’s Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), a think-tank and advisory body set up by the government of the southern state of Kerala, issued an expression of interest (EOI) this week for a pilot project to use LNG to fuel a fishing boat.

The project includes a retrofit of an existing marine diesel engine system in a fishing boat in Kochi to enable it to operate on an LNG and diesel dual-fuel system.

Fishing boats are typically fuelled by diesel, but a new regulation by the International Maritime Organisation that limits the sulfur content of fuel used in ships by 2020 could push governments to explore the use of cleaner fuels.

LNG is not a widely used fuel in the fishing industry due to limited bunkering infrastructure and high costs.

The EOI involves the installation of an LNG fuel storage tank and other associated equipment and pipelines by modifying the boat hull.

The work will be done in 18 weeks, and K- DISC will be receiving proposals by September 7, with commercial bids to be submitted by late October.

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