Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lobby Body Argues Strongly that LNG Fuels for Ocean Freight Shipping Should be Mandatory

New Report by IGU Released Highlights Possible Benefits to Air Quality
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – A new report by the International Gas Union (IGU) is calling on more shipping lines and governments to push for the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a primary fuel source for ocean freight vessels, which could play a major role in cleaning up marine transport and greatly benefitting health in a number of coastal regions.

Urban air pollution has become a top priority for local, national, and international governments in both developed and developing countries. Marine transportation is an often overlooked contributor to negative air quality levels – with one large container ship, powered by 3% sulphur bunker fuel, emitting the same amount of sulphur oxide gases, as 50 million diesel-burning cars.

According to the IGU in Hong Kong alone ship traffic is responsible for half of the city’s total toxic pollutants – more so than those produced by the power generation and transportation sectors. In the world’s top 100 ports, roughly 230 million people are exposed directly to the harmful emissions produced by shipping.

These emissions also create significant economic costs, with emissions of dangerous particulate matter, Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide produced by shipping in the world’s 50 largest ports costing authorities €12 Billion annually. In Spain alone the country’s 13 key ports cost an estimated €206million. In Bergen, Norway, the emissions of ships at berth in the port are estimated to cost the city between €10 and 22 million.

According to IGU’s estimates the use of LNG in marine transport could deliver significant environmental, economic and social benefits. These include reductions in emissions of harmful pollutants, including up to 90% reductions in sulphur oxide emissions, 29% reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and 85% reductions in PM levels. In addition, a switch to LNG fuel can generate substantial monetary savings for operators through fuel costs, as well as benefiting local infrastructure through investments and jobs. David Carroll, President of the IGU said:

“The case for using LNG fuel for shipping is clear. It will provide significant improvement to our quality of life by dramatically reducing air pollution. It will also support climate change goals by reducing greenhouse gases. We need effective policy change to encourage a switch to LNG. This report, and our recent reports on urban air quality, demonstrates the key role natural gas plays in tackling the issue of air pollution and improving the quality of people’s lives.”