Marine Diesel Engines – Oil Fuel Tax Alarm May Hasten LNG Progress

By George Backwell at December 18, 2011 02:17
Filed Under: General

The international maritime sector is prime candidate to take the hit of a tax on shipping bunkers, analysts are convinced, after recent U.N. Climate Change talks in Durban agreed the design of a 'Global Climate Fund' to channel up to $100 billion a year to compensate poorer nations whilst leaving open the question of where the money would be coming from. Oxfam and green group WWF tabled a Durban motion calling for a carbon levy of  a massive $25 per tonne oil bunker tax but failed to obtain a consensus, nevertheless firing a warning shot across the industry’s bows. Latest news of advancements in the LNG fuel project for diesel engines, and a bullish forecast for future growth in LNG take-up follows below.
LNG Supply Side Developments

World-wide expansion plans for new LNG bunker station are reported by Zeus Intelligence listing in the past week supply proposals in such varied locations as on the Yangtze River; Port Fourcheon, Louisiana; Trinidad in the West Indies, and at Dubai in the Middle East. Zeus says proposals are tabled for LNG bunkering stations in Singapore, Quebec, and New York.

News of significant LNG supply developments came from Europe as Gasnor of Norway announced last month an agreement with port operators (subject to approval by the local government administration) to supply LNG bunkering facilities at the German Port of Brunsbüttel, crucially situated within the IMO Emission Control Area at the Kiel Canal gateway between the North Sea and the Baltic.

LNG Fuel Tank Aboard MF Boknafjord: Photo courtesy of Multi Maritime Ship Design & Engineering

New LNG Fuelled Ships

A couple of examples from Europe point up the growing interest in LNG fuelled ships: Nor Lines has contracted with Tsuji Heavy Industries to build two LNG fuelled multi-purpose, 5,000 dwt cargo vessels for delivery in time to comply with stringent ECA emission regulations that are due to take effect in 2015. Reportedly these two ships would take advantage of the new LNG bunkering station at Brunsbüttel.

Another Norwegian operator, Fjord1 named its sixth LNG powered ferry MF Boknafjord (incidentally the world’s largest powered by gas) on Friday last after delivery by Fiskerstrand BLRT AS, to serve the Arsvågen-Mortavika route on the country’s Boknafjord.

Forecast of Increase in Future LNG Fuel Uptake

Research by MEC Intelligence estimates that the present day hundred or so vessels of the world’s merchant fleet using LNG to fuel either single or dual-fuel engines could increase to number nearly ten-thousand ships  by year 2020.

Subject to the anticipated development of infrastructure and IMO ratifications the MEC report expects the LNG fuelled  fleet to number a thousand by 2015 but pick up rapidly to grow up to ten times in the subsequent five years as the technology, infrastructure, and economics stack equivocally in favour of LNG fuelled ships.



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