Thursday, February 16, 2017

LNG Coalition Finds 3 New Members to Support the Fuel as Suitable Power for the Future of Shipping

Whether Container Freight Vessel or Cruise Liner, Move Toward Gas Propulsion Builds
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – Following on from our recent piece about a new ISO standard for bunkering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) comes news that the not for profit, multi-sector industry coalition SEA/LNG, whose aim is to accelerate the widespread adoption of the gas as a marine fuel, has added three notable new members to a coalition which already includes such industry names as Shell, Qatargas and Total together with freight interests including the container line NYK and the Port of Rotterdam.

SEA/LNG points out that three new appointees, Bureau Veritas, Clean Marine Energy, and Gas Natural Fenosa, all represent different yet key aspects of the LNG value and supply chain. Bureau Veritas joins other notable vessel classification names Lloyd’s Register and DNV GL, and whose involvement includes the classification of LNG-fuelled vessels, including tankers, ferries and cruise ships, as well as LNG bunker vessels, and LNG plant and terminal certification. At the end of 2016, Bureau Veritas had 22 LNG-fuelled ships in class with a further 39 under construction, one recently ordered. In China, BV is the leading classification society for new LNG-fuelled ships. Philippe Donche Gay, President, Marine and Offshore commented:

”We play a significant role in helping ensure safe LNG as fuel operations from design through to construction and into operations, including a safe bunkering framework. Bureau Veritas is committed to helping make LNG one of the preferred, and safe solutions for a clean shipping future, which is why it makes sense to work collectively with SEA\LNG members to achieve this.”

Founded in 2012, Clean Marine Energy is a first-mover in developing LNG distribution infrastructure and finances the construction or retrofit of LNG-fuelled vessels. The organisation also develops, owns, and operates LNG infrastructure in select locations to serve LNG-fuelled vessels, guaranteeing LNG supply. In February 2015, CME signed construction contracts to build the first US Jones Act LNG bunker vessel at Conrad's Shipyard in Orange, Texas, and alongside energy midstream company Northstar Midstream, LLC and partner Pivotal LNG is constructing the first fully-integrated LNG marine fuelling facility in North America (JAX LNG), in Jacksonville, Florida. Pace Ralli, CEO, Clean Marine Energy said:

“The greatest barriers for shipowners and operators to convert to LNG are access to capital and guaranteed LNG supply. CME's ability to provide funding for LNG powered vessels and our commitment to developing the supply chain will lower these barriers. We look forward to working collectively with the SEA\LNG coalition to provide owners and operators with the confidence to make the transition from conventional marine fuels to natural gas.”

Gas Natural Fenosa is one of the leading liquefied natural gas operators worldwide and a key operator in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Basins. It has a diversified natural gas and LNG portfolio, amounting to approximately 30 billion m3, and employs directly or indirectly a fleet of new methane tankers for the transportation of LNG worldwide. Gas Natural Fenosa operates in the entire gas value chain, from exploration to distribution and marketing, including production, liquefaction and transport. It also has facilities for gas storage and regasification. Alejandro Garcia, Head of Global Gas Origination of Gas Natural Fenosa observed:

“As a leading LNG operator, we hope that the SEA\LNG coalition will benefit from our presence throughout the gas value chain. We continuously strive to adapt to the evolving market by ensuring a strong presence in emerging LNG bunkering markets. This approach is aligned with the Group’s mission to respond to society's energy needs by offering quality and environmentally friendly products and services, and reaffirms our position as a leading company within the LNG sector.”

The SEA\LNG coalition was established by Xyntéo, an advisory body which works with global companies to identify and implement collaborative initiatives that enable businesses to grow in a new way, fit for the resource, climate and demographic realities of the 21st century. It is guided by a board, which is led by chairman Peter Keller. Each member organisation commits mutually agreed human resources, data analysis and knowledge sharing in support of SEA\LNG initiatives and activities and financially contributes via a membership fee. It recently lobbied for a candid appraisal of barriers to LNG as a marine fuel ahead of the global sulphur cap of 0.5% from January 2020.

Photo: A still from a Clean Marine Energy video detailing the construction of the Jones Act LNG bunker vessel.