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LNG bunkering: focus on safety 'needs to be maintained'

28 Aug 2014 12:32 GMT

Lloyd's Register's Leonidas Karistios warns that 'serious incidents' involving LNG bunkering could set back the potential for the continued expansion of gas-fuelled shipping.



LNG-fuelled shipping is going global, but attention on safe bunkering needs to be maintained

Source: Lloyd's Register.

Author: Leonidas Karistios [pictured], Global Gas Technology Market Manager, Business Development & Innovation.

Although LNG-fuelled shipping has yet to be adopted by large deep sea operators there are no technical or technology impediments. However an area where the industry needs to maintain high standards is in ensuring that the risks of bunkering are being managed effectively. If serious incidents involving LNG bunkering occur, it could set back the potential for the continued expansion of gas-fuelled shipping.

Lloyd's Register (LR) is now working on a wide and growing variety of LNG projects worldwide supporting the expansion of LNG-fuelled shipping. The broad spectrum of ship types and spread across the world underlines LR’s capabilities as the leading, independent classification society involved in the development of LNG as a marine fuel.

LR classed newbuilding projects won in 2014 include a large ferry in the Netherlands, a bulk carrier project for Swedish principals Thun; a car carrier project for Norwegian operators and an ice breaker for the Finnish Government. And in June, during Posidonia, Lloyd’s Register announced a joint development project with Piraeus, Greece based Capital Shipmanagement and Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding (DSME) for a 14,000 teu LNG-fuelled container ship design.

In July there was a series of announcements involving LR and the LNG-fuelled future. LR is supporting Portsmouth as the UK port prepares to receive Brittany Ferries’ new large LNG-fuelled ferries. While the first of Quebec ferry operator STQ’s new gas-fuelled ferries, the 130m Matane, was launched at Fincantieri’s yard at Castellamare di Stabia near Naples. BC Ferries was pleased to welcome LR as the classification society for its order of three new breed ferries. And GE Marine and Lloyd’s Register signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on applying gas turbines to power LNG ships.

We are definitely seeing the evolution of LNG-fuelled shipping in line with our analysis of the markets, ship types and geographies that would go for gas. You can’t predict exactly who will choose LNG or when – some of these projects have been in development for a long time. But the emphasis on ferry trades, short sea trades – within Emission Control Areas (ECAs) is very much a reflection of the progression we can expect for gas-fuelled shipping. Some of these ships are, of course, deep sea capable, but the economics of decisions made so far has been all about ECA operations.






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