Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is comfortably the frontrunner in the race for alternative fuels that comply with the post-2020 emissions targets – but LNG may not be the right fuel for the tougher standards applying from 2050.
That is the view of Dutch tanker operator Spliethoff's vice-president of business development, Sjaak Klap, who sees LNG as “an excellent choice as a transition fuel for the [current] generation of ships and over the next decade.”
Speaking ahead of the LNG bunkering summit due to start on 29 January, Mr Klap pointed out that, while LNG's CO2 emissions are about 25% lower than fuel oil and marine gas oil, they are still too high to meet the 2050 targets.
However, the development of alternatives such as biofuels, methanol, ethanol, hydrogen, ammonia and electricity continues to lag behind that of LNG, in some cases far behind. And only three of these – methanol, hydrogen and electricity – have so far been taken seriously into consideration, he adds. Indeed, only two shipping companies in the world use methanol as a marine fuel.