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China LNG use could change dramatically by 2020: BMT Asia Pacific

China LNG use could change dramatically by 2020: BMT Asia Pacific
While the maritime sector remains a small component of the LNG fuel market, big changes in future, if they were to happen could see the balance shift dramatically, said BMT Asia Pacific md Richard Colwill.

"LNG fuel use for the world shipping fleet could double total LNG demand... so while we are a small player in the market the potential market is very significant," Colwill said at the Asia Maritime LNG: Market & Operations breakfast briefing today.

Elaborating on the China market in particular, Colwill pointed out that the Ship and Port Pollution Prevention Special Action Plan (2015-2020) issued by the Ministry of Transport last week is set to make a huge difference. This plan to cut sulphur dioxide emissions from ships in the Bohai RIm area, the Pearl River Delta, and the Yangtze River Delta by 65% by 2020, and further plans by year’s end which will propose turning the three main shipping regions into Emission Control Areas could lead to a huge increase in LNG use, he pointed out.

For example, there is a goal to convert 2,000 vessels on the Yangtze trade to LNG by this year and 10,000 vessels by 2020. Although it is unlikely this year's target will be met, Colwill was confident the latter one would.

One important consideration he noted, is that Yangtze River trade vessels usually do not carry high-value cargo. As a result, the cost of conversion needs to make economic sense to owners.