It is widely recognised by the shipping industry that liquid natural gas (LNG) is a bridge fuel to finding zero carbon emission alternatives, however, “it is still a pretty long bridge” said Knut Orbeck-Nilssen CEO of classification society DNV GL at its yearly press briefing at Chandos House, London on 18 February.
Due to the established infrastructure already in place for LNG production, including heavy investment on behalf of some shipping companies in LNG fleets, most notably CMA CGM, Nilssen predicts that LNG as a fuel will still be used in up to two vessel generations.
“The pathway to decarbonisation is not all about fuels and new fuels, it is also about efficiency and incentives bringing the maritime world forward,” he said.
The importance of ship efficiency was explored during the briefing, and how the entire supply chain can gain from being optimised, stressing that such measures need to be implemented for existing ships and not just newbuilds. Such measures include slow steaming, speed reduction to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and changes to engine design to conserve energy.
This echoes comments made at the Bureau Veritas press briefing in Paris in January 2020, where it predicted that there will be significant changes to the make-up of the global fleet in 2050. LNG will remain a contender in conjunction with other emission reduction measures as well as zero carbon fuels to meet the IMO 2050 requirements of a reduction by 40% of GHGs.