Page 36 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2014
P. 36
Autumn 2014 European Energy Innovation


LNG has yet to prove it’s in
ship shape

By Bill Hemmings, Transport & Environment’s clean shipping manager

The upcoming more The largely bunker fuel-powered into fine particles that can lead to
stringent regulations shipping sector is today heart and lung failure.
for emission control responsible for 3 per cent of
areas (ECA), where global CO2 emissions. They have Given these environmental and
the maximum sulphur content increased by more than 90% health costs, as well as the financial
of marine fuel will be limited to since 1990 and if no action is burden, ship operators must weigh
0.1 per cent, has put liquefied taken, shipping carbon emissions up the benefits of the alternatives
natural gas (LNG) to the forefront are expected to triple by 2050. to bunker fuel that are currently
in the debate on improving the Bunker fuel currently represents viable: bolt-on technology such as
sustainability of international up to 70 per cent of the costs exhaust gas cleaning systems for
shipping. of operating an international meeting stricter NOx regulations
shipping vessel. Overall costs are and scrubbers for SOx, or LNG
LNG is a compelling option with continuing to rise with the stricter power. Here we will address the
lower carbon emissions and much sulphur rules being one example. latter, the benefits of which include
lower air pollution than bunker CO2 emissions 20-25 per cent
fuels currently in use – which are Air pollution from the sector is lower than those from bunker
basically refinery waste and the also a major concern, accounting fuel – due to a higher hydrogen-to-
dirtiest of all transport fuels. But for approximately 50,000 carbon ratio.
LNG is still a fossil fuel, which premature deaths per year in
means it is not a long-term, Europe, according to Denmark’s LNG contains almost no sulphur,
sustainable solution. Also, in the Centre for Energy, Environment which results in almost no SOx
short term, its leakage of methane and Health, at an annual cost to and particulate matter emissions.
(a powerful climate-warming society of more than €58 billion. It also emits 85 per cent less
gas) is a serious concern, raising Chemical reactions in the air NOx than bunker fuel, ensuring
questions about its claimed convert sulphur dioxide (SOx) and compliance with the IMO’s Tier III
greenhouse-gas savings. nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions NOx regulation due to enter force
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