Interview what will be the marine fuel of the future – news e85 gas stations in san antonio tx

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World Maritime News spoke with Dr. Marc Perrin, Independent Consultant for ENGIE Lab CRIGEN and Olivier Jouny, Managing Director, Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions, during Asia Pacific Maritime on the current state of play in relation to the industry’s preparedness for the new rules and the most economically viable option when picking a compliant fuel.

However, the capacity of refineries to produce a sufficient amount of low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) for ships in time has been brought to question. On the other hand, opting for scrubbers results in other issues such as space availability, vessel stability and higher operating costs, to name just a few.

“Right after the IMO announced that the deadline would be 2020 we decided to reorganize our bunkering business and position ourselves as a global solutions provider, and not just only a product supplier. In some parts of the world, the availability of LSFO can indeed be questioned. However, as an integrated group with strong assets all along the oil chain, we are currently working with our refining and trading teams and we will be able to supply our customers with 0.5 percent sulfur fuel oil in the main hubs,” Jouny said.

“Indeed, lots of efforts still remain to be put in, mostly regarding investments in LNG bunkering facilities, however, LNG as a fuel is already available in most major ports and areas impacted by emissions regulations. In the most optimistic forecasts for the development of LNG as marine fuel, this specific market will represent only a few percent of the global LNG world market. So there is no global availability issue for LNG with large reserves being explored, contrarily to its competitor fuels such as LPG or methanol. And there is a good reason to think that the LNG price will probably remain low for the years to come,” he said.

“In February 2018, 122 LNG-fuelled marine ships were being built or sailing and 143 vessels were on order. That represents a very rapid growth considering that four years ago, in 2014, there were 56 LNG vessels, that’s less than 50 percent of actual numbers,” he added.

“Major shipping companies, who previously did not show great interest in LNG, are now starting to review their position and are asking us to help them reassess the case. With the recent LNG bunker supply contracts we signed with Brittany Ferries and CMA CGM, we proved that we were both strongly supporting the use of LNG as a marine fuel and that we were able to provide dedicated logistics and tailor-made solutions to our customers. We do believe that the development of logistical solutions in different ports to enlarge the network will help the development of LNG bunkering,” Jouny further noted.

“Secondly, LPG emits more CO2 and NOx than LNG. Thirdly, the logistic issue is not trivial and similar in complexity and cost to the LNG one. And today the main market for LPG is the use as a feedstock in the chemical industry. Last but not least, marine gas engines are designed mainly for natural gas (CNG or LNG) that is easier to burn in engines than LPG. Therefore, for all of these reasons, I don’t anticipate a fast development of LPG as a marine fuel as is the actual case for LNG,” he explained.

Jouny further added that LPG is not such a cost-effective solution, with prices being more volatile than for LNG as they are impacted by both crude prices and a seasonality effect. Moreover, the infrastructure is not adequately developed. What is more, investments to equip vessels with systems able to run on LPG are significant and safety issues are a real concern, he pointed out.

“The rise in Brent prices and the impact of the global gap on MGO prices could boost the sector from 2019. However, today, the potential customers of methanol as a marine fuel remain the shortsea vessels sailing in the ECA zone,” Jouny said.

“This supports and boosts engineering companies, ship owners and operators, bunkering operators, in mastering this new fuel: innovative storage technologies, boil-off gas management tools (LNG Master, Smart LNG Gauge), LNG quality for engine assessment (new PKI methodology for calculating Methane Number),” Perrin said.