Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamechanger for shipping will be the switch to LNG as fuel: Bernhard Schulte

Gamechanger for shipping will be the switch to LNG as fuel: Bernhard Schulte
The move from burning high-sulphur bunker fuel to the use of clean LNG as fuel will be a “gamechanger” for the global shipping industry, said Angus Campbell, managing director of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement UK (BSM).

Speaking at Gastech conference held in Singapore on Thursday, Campbell recalled that wind power gave way to coal and coal in its turn gave way to oil. Going forward, the move from oil to natural gas is “simply the next progression in the evolution of maritime transportation.”

But this step change of refueling ships with LNG will require a sophisticated supply chain, dealing with simultaneous operations and other factors not traditionally associated with bunkering in the LNG sector.

“These are some of the factors that have driven BSM, working in partnership with BMT Triton and Babcock LGE, to develop its own unique Gas Fuel Supply Vessel design which will support LNG fuelled ships, and the delivery of gas to small onshore facilities and large off-pipe consumers,” he said.

Apart from changing to the use of LNG, there are other options such as distillate fuels and the use of scrubbers with conventional fuel. But Campbell argued that they do not have the advantages of LNG.

“Distillate fuels are expensive and there is a likelihood that the price will increase due to demand as emission regulations are enforced in multiple areas,” he explained. “Scrubbers may seem a simple alternative but the cost benefit calculation is actually very complex - with no guarantees that this will be accepted as a long term method of emission reduction.”

He pointed out that with growing concern over harmful air emissions, the choice for shipowners is no longer whether to come into line, but what option to choose in order to do so, and LNG is the sustainable clean fuel that will offer the long term solution.