Page 6 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2015 publication
P. 6
utumn 2015 European Energy Innovation

LNG – promising solution for ships

By Jakub Adamowicz, Spokesman for Transport and Regional Policy, European Commission (pictured)

As of 1st January 2015, from the current 3.5% to 0.5% by OECD International Transport
seagoing vessels either 2020 or 2025, depending Forum. In addition, the availability
sailing in Emission on the results of a feasibility and cost of fossil fuels are matters
Control Areas (ECAs) review planned for 2018. The new of concern.
must use fuels with maximum limits were set by the International
0.1% sulphur content. ECAs Maritime Organisation (IMO) The use of LNG as propulsion
comprise the Baltic and North through Annex VI of the MARPOL fuel for shipping, the use of low
Sea in Europe and most of the Convention1. The Convention sulphur fuels and the installation
US and Canadian coasts as well imposes also strict requirements of exhaust gas scrubbers are the
as the US Caribbean Sea area. In on emissions of nitrogen oxides main alternatives for compliance
all other waters across the globe, (NOx) in ECAs, which all marine with the more stringent air
the sulphur cap will be lowered diesel engines installed after 1 emission requirements for vessels.
January 2016 must comply with.
Photo: © EU This will significantly reduce the Comparing the relative
total emission of nitrogen oxides emissions for these various
in shipping. compliance options shows that
LNG propulsion has the most
The sulphur requirements of environmental benefits. LNG
the MARPOL Convention were propelled ships emit hardly any
incorporated in EU law via the particulate matter, about 90%
Sulphur Directive 2012/33/EU, less sulphur oxides, up to 90%
which prescribes the use of fuels less NOx and 20-25% less CO2,
with a maximum 0,5% sulphur representing a good solution for
content in all EU waters (non- the reduction of both relevant
ECAs) as of 2020, independently substances and GHG emissions.
of the results of the 2018 review. The use of LNG as an alternative
fuel for shipping has therefore
Moreover, EU policy2 is also greater environmental potential
targeting a reduction of than fuel oils and distillates,
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions even taking into account the
from the shipping sector of at production and transport process.
least 40% by 2050. Currently,
GHG emissions from global There are however concerns
shipping amount to around regarding the methane release
1 billion tonnes a year, which that can occur during all stages of
corresponds to 3% of the world’s the LNG life-cycle. Since methane
total. In the EU, the proportion is 20-25 times more powerful
of emissions from shipping than CO2 as a greenhouse
stands higher at 4% of the total. gas during a 100 year time
If no measures are taken, CO2 span, the issue requires careful
emissions from the shipping handling. The specific case of
industry are expected to increase methane emissions resulting
between 240% and 600% by from internal engine combustion
2050 according to the Transport has been extensively addressed
Outlook 2015 published by the and discussed. ‘Methane slip’
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