Maritime shippers need more LNG

Maritime shippers need more LNG

April 20 (UPI) — The maritime fleet industry needs to use more liquefied natural gas as a fuel in order to lower its emissions, a Finnish company said Friday.

Wärtsilä Corp., a Finnish company that makes engines for the marine and energy market, said Friday that liquefied natural gas used as a marine fuel would help the industry lower its emissions of greenhouse gases.

“LNG as a marine fuel has a crucial role in greenhouse gas reduction roadmap, and provides the basis for other actions to even further reduce the emissions of shipping,” the company stated. “Wärtsilä puts a great effort to create offering enabling effective utilization of LNG.”

The company’s support for LNG comes one week after the 173-member International Maritime Organization agreed to cut emissions from its industry by 50 percent from 2008 levels by 2050. So-called levels of ambition outlined by the U.N. body said the industry agreed to work on efforts to phase out greenhouse gas emissions entirely “as soon as possible in this century.”

Wärtsilä expressed its strong support for the plan, but wanted more concrete agreements to establish a carbon-free shipping industry.

“The next extremely important step must be to define concrete abatement measures, and to establish a clear roadmap together with the industry and decision-making bodies,” CEO Jaakko Eskola said.

The agreement reached last week was an initial step and member states were called on to finalize ways to meet the 50 percent benchmark within the next six years.

French supermajor Total in February made a deeper commitment LNG by chartering a refueling vessel for Europe-to-Asia trade routes with Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, or MOL. The vessel, the first designed for large-scale bunkering operations, will be built at a Chinese shipyard and service cargo vessels in northern European waters.

Bunkering is the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel. The French supermajor said LNG as a fuel source is transformative given the maritime shipping industry’s quest to cap emissions of nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions.