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SEA\LNG plans direct response to Climate Bonds Initiative

LNG for fuel lobby group SEA\LNG is planning a direct response to the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI following its move to exclude LNG-related shipping initiatives from accessing green bond finance.

CBI is a not-for-profit, investor-focused organisation based in London which provides green bonds for sustainable projects complying with its decarbonisation criteria.

Peter Keller, SEA\LNG Chairman, described the CBI’s reasoning as ‘illogical’, given the clear decarbonisation pathway via liquefied biomethane (LBM) and liquefied synthetic methane (LSM) for LNG carriers and LNG-fuelled vessels. “LBM is already available as a bunker fuel in certain geographies,” Keller told Seatrade Maritime News, “for example North West Europe, and a pilot project using LSM has been announced for Unifeeder’s North European container feeder network.”

He highlighted a recent independent study, commissioned by SEA\LNG and undertaken by CE Delft, on the availability and costs of liquefied bio-and synthetic methane. The analysis concluded that the world’s fleet of LNG tankers and vessels fuelled by LNG could carry and use LBM and LSM without major modification. The sustainable fuels could also use existing and expanding infrastructure for storage, bunkering and distribution.

Keller pointed out that immature and emerging technologies such as ammonia and hydrogen, which appear to be favoured by the CBI’s eligibility criteria, will require significant research and development investment over many years and cannot match LNG’s credentials now. “There is no magic elixir to solve shipping’s decarbonisation dilemma,” he said. “Waiting and taking no action is not a plan. We must act now.

“LNG is the only available and scalable marine fuel capable of reducing greenhouse gas and improving air quality emissions. We firmly believe that the use of LNG as a marine fuel is vital to achieve improved air quality with human health benefits today, and the climate ambitions of 2050.”

Independently, LNG experts point to the abundance and competitive price of LNG as a source of marine fuel, and the fact that research and development on methane slip is achieving significant results, while drop-in biogas and sustainable synthetic fuels can also reduce its carbon footprint. The complex cryogenic technology that has evolved for both the carriage of liquefied gas and its use as a marine fuel will also be essential for the development of some potential marine fuels of the future, they say. Liquid hydrogen, for example, has a boiling point substantially lower than LNG – minus 252.9°C compared with LNG’s minus 162°C.

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