Norway’s experience with LNG as shipping fuel

Lasse Karlsen, Technical Director of the Norwegian Maritime Authority visited China this week to exchange views with Chinese experts on the use of LNG as shipping fuel. Norway is currently the world leader in this sector, with 29 LNG fuelled ships in operation. This is currently the whole world fleet of LNG fuelled ships. Mr. Karlsen was invited by the Beijing Energy Club and the LNG China 2012 conference to talk about the Norwegian experiences.

At the Beijing Energy Club meeting on June 27th, Mr. Karlsen, together with representatives from DNV, the Norwegian Classification Society, met with Chinese officials and experts from business and academia. They discussed the Norwegian experiences and the potential for expanded use of LNG as a shipping fuel in China. The meeting identified considerable potential for balancing the Chinese energy demand through the use of LNG powered ships in Chinese domestic transport. In addition, the participants agreed that there areglobal business opportunities for Chinese shipbuilders as stricter IMO regulations on emissions in Northern Europe and North America take effect from 2016. The Norwegian experience illustrates that LNG as a shipping fuel is both economically and technically viable. Likewise that safety concerns can be met through appropriate regulation. There was general agreement that further exchange of information and cooperation in the development of national and international regulations through the IMO and ISO should be encouraged.

At the LNG China 2012 China International LNG Conference on June 28th, Mr. Karlsen presented the Norwegian experience with LNG as shipping fuel to a wider audience under the session on LNG Fueled Transportation.

Norway has been a world leader in LNG technology for shipping since the development of Moss Rosenberg spherical tanks in the 1960’s and 70’s. Due to the abundance of natural gas in Norway and strict environmental standards, Norway has taken the lead in utilizing LNG as shipping fuel. All the world’s 29 LNG fuelled ships are operating in Norway, and 11 new are under construction for Norwegian and other ship owners. DNV has been instrumental in developing safe technologies and standards for LNG as a shipping fuel. The increasing supply of LNG internationally, as well as environmental concerns, is contributing to increased focus on the potential for LNG to displace and compliment heavy fuel oil and diesel in maritime transportation.

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