LNG fuel and the ship emissions debate
The need to achieve a 50% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 has the shipping industry in a spin. LNGs credentials as a transitional fuel are the greenest of the currently viable alternatives
The alleged environmental advantages of LNG as one of the three mainstream propulsion fuel options available to shipowners have been called into question of late.
University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS), in a study published in June 2018, concluded that the European Unions (EU) projected spending on LNG bunkering infrastructure would have no significant climate benefits. Furthermore, UMAS, a University College London consultancy division, has noted such investments could potentially increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping as a result of methane slip in the LNG supply chain.
The EU has spent US$250M to date on projects promoting the use of LNG as transport fuel for ships, inland waterway vessels and vehicles. These monies have accounted for up to 50% of the total cost of individual schemes, usually matching the private sectors contribution.
If this level of subsidy was to be maintained over the long term, and if one of the high LNG use scenarios considered by UMAS comes to pass, the EU could be forking out up to US$22Bn through 2050. Such a high-use case might occur if LNG prices remain comparatively low and alternative ....