Around 11% of all newbuild contracts in 2017 were for ships powered by liquefied natural gas, a trend that is expected to continue in 2018, according to LNG supplier Titan LNG.
In its year-end recap, the Amsterdam-based firm said that this past year set the stage for a push in the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel “beyond the tipping point”. In 2017, the adoption of LNG as marine fuel ‘significantly accelerated’ from years prior.
According to Titan, the push to the cleaner-burning alternative fuel is driven by the growing order book for LNG-powered ships, maturing LNG bunkering infrastructure, and the structurally competitive pricing of LNG compared to MGO (Marine Gas Oil).
“Titan LNG is very pleased with these developments and we are proud to be at the forefront of this market,” the company said.
With new international regulations on low-sulfur fuel content set to enter into force in 2020, ship owners are faced with the choice of running on MGO, HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) using scrubbers, or to switch to LNG. Titan says it believes that scrubbers only offer a temporary solution, while LNG-fuelled ships, combined with power-to-gas or biogas, offer a credible and cost competitive path to compliance with all current and upcoming IMO and EU regulations.
LNG has now been adapted to a variety of vessel types and sizes, and switching to LNG completely removes SOx and particles, and reduces NOx emissions by up to 85%. In addition, the switch to LNG reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are confident that overcoming the barriers to scaling up LNG as a transportation fuel is worth it and we stand by our mission to help eradicate oil burn,” the company said.