Athens: Heavy fuel oil is not an option for future shipping within ECAs. Alternatives have to be introduced. A DNV study concludes that LNG is the obvious alternative to satisfy future ECA requirements, particularly for the short sea shipping.

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Tor E. Svensen
Tor Svensen, the President of DNV

The EU has already introduced 0.1% sulphur as a maximum level for a ship’s fuel when in ports and on inland waterways. As of 1 July this year, the maximum level of sulphur in fuel is set at 1.0% in ECAs (Emission Control Areas), and the requirements will be further tightened to 0.1% by 2015.

“There are at least three ways of solving these challenges,” says Tor Svensen, the President of DNV. “Low sulphur fuel can be used. Scrubbers can be installed to remove the sulphur. Or the operator can switch to LNG. Based on our DNV Baltic Report, LNG is the obvious answer to this challenge.

“LNG represents no technical obstacles. Economically, it is better than the alternatives and it is an environmental winner, so why wait?” he asks. “We can move faster if we want to, and there are economic opportunities for those shipowners that dare to be among the frontrunners.”

DNV was the first class society to introduce rules for LNG-fuelled ships back in 2001. Ahead of this and in every year since, DNV has invested millions in research and development work to ensure further improvements. Over these same years, 20 LNG-fuelled ships – all classed by DNV – have been delivered and are today operating. The practical experience achieved from these vessels has been invaluable.

Tor Svensen continuous: “DNV is struggling to understand why the shipping industry is not moving faster and why shipowners are not seeing the opportunities. LNG as a fuel for ships is commercially viable and will address important environmental concerns.”

“As a class society, DNV will try to actively influence the whole shipping industry,” he adds. “And we will certainly continue to invest in technology and expertise to support the conversion to LNG fuel. The 20 ships confirm our involvement so far and trust me - DNV will assist shipowners in developing business cases for LNG in the years to come!”

The whole Shipping Industry has to play an active role to achieve the improvements that LNG represents. ECAs have been introduced in large part of Europe and the EU and governments must be frontrunners. In particular, it is important that publicly owned ships are run on LNG. Present obstacles, like the lack of bunkering stations for LNG, will have to be overcome and finally, LNG fuel has to become more easily available at a fair market price.

“The age of LNG is here! And short sea shipping is the most obvious place to start,” concludes Tor Svensen.