Flow Level Pressure

Could Ships Switch to Alternative Fuels?

Oct 31 2016 Comments 0

Environmental concerns have been triggering major alarm bells over the past decade. For the most part, pollution from the maritime industry has been overshadowed by land based industries. But now, a French energy company is blazing a trail and rallying to replace heavy maritime fuels with super-cooled gas.

In an effort to minimise its environmental impact, French shipping entity CMA CGM has signed a milestone agreement with Paris based multinational energy company, ENGIE. It will see the two companies explore new ways to power maritime shipping vessels with super-cooled liquefied natural gas.

"[LNG] is undoubtedly the fuel of the future of the maritime shipping industry that will progressively substitute heavy fuel oil over the next few decades," comments Farid Salem, CMA CGM’s top executive.

"For ENGIE, natural gas is a key element in the energy transition," affirms CEO Isabelle Kocher. "The group is actively engaged in the development of the diverse uses of retail LNG, especially for a greener mobility."

Working towards cleaner, greener oceans

The partnership echoes a trend that’s starting to materialise across the maritime industry, with global cruise giant Carnival Corp recently announcing plans to power its ships with LNG supplied by Shell. When the line’s first LNG powered ships set sail in 2019, the feat will mark an environmental milestone for the cruise industry. Carnival Corp will become the first line to run its ships with LNG, and asserts that the move is a key part of its newly adopted green initiative designed to minimise its environmental footprint.

The industry-wide LNG revolution

For Shell, the partnership with Carnival Corp represents its transition into the liquefied natural gas market. Having recently acquired its BG Group competitor, the Dutch energy company is set to become a major player in the LNG field.

Backed with increasing popularity and eco-credentials, LNG waves are rippling far beyond the maritime industry. In September ENGIE also signed a deal with the Beijing Gas Group to supply 10 shipments of LNG, which will be used to power the city of Beijing during the winter months.

For more insight into how liquefied natural gas is transported across the globe, ‘Accurately Measuring LNG Tanker Boil-Off Gas for Process Efficiency & Environmental Compliance’ is a fascinating read. It spotlights the mechanics of LNG tanker fleets, and how companies manage the inevitable by-product of boil-off gas (BOG).

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