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SEA\LNG highlights the importance of regulatory compliance

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

SEA\LNG is an industry coalition, working to facilitate and accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The company has urged the industry to redouble its commitment to compliance with, and enforcement of, IMO Marpol VI regulations.

The company recognises that the Port State Authorities have a clear obligation under the governing treaties to ensure consistent enforcement of the IMO regulations. While enforcement has always been a difficult issue, now is the time for all IMO members to understand the importance of this regulation and ensure that it is implemented and enforced as envisioned.

SEA\LNG acknowledged that today’s shipowners are operating in a challenging economic environment, amidst stringent and increasing environmental regulations. With a complex investment decision matrix of risks when considering how to comply with the global sulfur cap of 0.5% from 2020, shipowners must make decisions that remain viable into the future and make choices between a limited number of options; LNG, scrubbers or low sulfur fuels.

It added that in addressing the primary concerns of cost and compliance, LNG as a marine fuel provides a means of negating current and potential future local emissions challenges, and is a step in the right direction towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime transport.

SEA/LNG Chairman, Peter Keller, explained: “LNG far exceeds alternative options in terms of emissions reductions. It emits zero sulfur oxides (SOx) and virtually zero particulate matter. Compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LNG emits 90% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) and through the use of best current practices and appropriate technologies to minimise methane leakage, offers the potential for up to a 25% reduction in GHGs. Advancements in dual fuel technology and propulsion, enhanced control systems, and future use of gas turbine technologies present further opportunity for increased GHG reductions.”

The energy transition is moving in a clear direction. The majority of the world’s top ten bunkering ports offer LNG bunkering or have firm plans to do so by 2020. As this LNG bunker market continues to develop, there is already a drive to meet demand for LNG as marine fuel at these and other critical locations. By the end of 2017, six LNG bunker vessels will be in operation – expanded from one at the start of the year. These vessels are key to scaling-up demand for LNG as a marine fuel and delivering fuel in a way that is ‘normal’ for shipowners. Added to which, new bunkering hubs are developing which will leverage existing bulk LNG infrastructure.

Keller added: “LNG will be one of a portfolio of solutions to help lower emissions, creating a more sustainable future for shipping. We recognise that there are barriers and limitations, but we are confident that by working together, we can overcome these hurdles as the industry has always done in the past.”

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