Increasing concern over the impact of human activities on our environment is encouraging the maritime transport industry to move towards using alternative fuels on board ships as a prime source of energy for propulsion and electricity generation. This trend is being reinforced by national and international regulation, led by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with its Emission Control Areas (ECAs).

As a consequence, ship owners who need to replace ships will be forced to think about a cleaner fuel, it is inevitable that there will be a radical change in shipping fuel options from HFO to cleaner alternatives. Amongst the options, LPG provides a future fit solution for shipping industry for the reduction of exhaust emissions from marine vessels. LPG as a clean and immediately available energy source. LPG emits practically negligible SOx and particulate matter. Moreover, it has the ability to emit approximately 80% fewer NOx emissions related to Tier I. Compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LPG’s greenhouse gas (GHG) performance represents a major step forward. With no methane slip problem LPG, realistic reductions of GHG by 20% are achievable, compared with conventional maritime fuels offering significant environmental advantages while meeting all energy and environmental challenges.
The World LPG Association (WLPGA), with its continued commitment to cleaner environment, has issued a report “LPG for Marine Engines – The Marine Alternative Fuel”, dedicated to the use of LPG in the marine sector.

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The WLPGA report aims to open the doors for LPG as the next marine alternative fuel. The report contains a wealth of information, data and compelling arguments in support of using LPG as the fuel of choice in marine vessels. It also promotes the understanding of the technical possibilities and market potential of LPG as a fuel in the marine sector. The report gives a comprehensive overview of aspects related to LPG as a marine fuel, including production and utilisation, engine technologies, markets, safety considerations, environmental performance, pricing, and financial feasibility. It provides also an update of current developments in the marine gaseous fuel market and the numerous opportunities and recommends actions for the LPG industry and wider, in order to pave the way for a take-up in the marine routes.

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It is hoped that this report can secure endorsement from leading stakeholders such as classification societies, vessel manufacturers, ship owners and the IMO. It targets vessel owners, vessel operators and other stakeholders who need to decide on the type of fuel used in vessels, as well as local and national authorities that drive legislation impacting on the choice of fuel.

LPG as a marine fuel is at least as attractive as LNG, already available almost everywhere, offering shorter payback periods, lower investment costs and less sensitivity to fuel price scenarios. LPG can be used in all sizes of vessels from the largest of ocean going ships, down to the smaller boats with inboard or outboard engines. On the basis of the recommendations of this report, significant additional activity is now ongoing, in particular targeting the sector of large shipping and bunkering.

LPG can play a major role in this changing environment and re-establish itself in the position that it deserves as an ideal alternative clean marine fuel.

The WLPGA is the authoritative voice of the global LPG industry representing the full LPG value chain, with a global network of more than 250 members from 125 countries, bringing together private and public companies, institutions and international organisations. It implements projects on local and global scale, aiming at cleaner air and water and promoting compliance to good business and safety practices. It engages decision-makers to understand that LPG is a safe, clean, healthy, multi-purpose, efficient, ecological and strategic marine fuel solution and an immediately available energy source that can significantly help to meet today’s and future environmental challenges.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News.