Revised Chartering Contracts May Lead to More Efficient LNG Shipping Says Total

NYK Lines LNG Carrier
Image: NYK

New chartering contracts for LNG are key to improving fuel efficiency in the sector, according to an official from French energy company Total.

“The current system looks unbalanced” stated Jacque Besse, head of LNG shipping at Total, speaking to delegates at the recent Informa LNG shipping conference in London.

Contracts in other shipping sectors give owners the responsibility for fuel costs, which gives them incentive to improve a ship’s fuel efficiency.

For LNG shipping, however, Mr Besse claimed that if a vessel is transporting cargos from A to B, owners see little reason to alter the ships to improve efficiency. He said that old-fashioned charter contracts were partly to blame for this.

Another shipowner, requesting anonymity, agreed that owners needed to be encouraged to make fuel savings but worried that it would be too expensive.

“We want to see more fuel efficiency but we don’t want to be whacked [financially],” said the owner.

Total called on the new generation of players in LNG shipping to suggest effective solutions for improving the relationship between charterers and owners.

Gaztransport and Technigaz programme director Arthur Barret told Lloyd’s List that contracts can be amended to suit different needs.